6 stretches you should do every day

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Personal trainer and health coach Tammy Rose's motto is it's always best to be doing something.

"Inactivity causes inflammation in the body, and we know inflammation causes aches and pains," said the ACE-Certified Personal trainer/Health Coach, based out of Pittsfield, Mass., who has been professionally whipping her clients into shape for 14 years.

But what if you're not an athlete, or you don't consider yourself a fit person? Simple: Rose recommends adding stretches into your daily routine.

"The benefits of stretching are endless, and anyone can do it," she said.

So we asked her to show us a few stretches that everyone can benefit from — whether a beginner or an active person. On a sunny morning at the Berkshire Yoga, Dance & Fitness studio in Pittsfield — where Rose teaches a hard core interval training class twice a week and will soon be adding a four-week program focusing on creating healthy backs, starting Sept. 6 — she demonstrated six stretches targeting different parts of the body.

According to Rose, there are many different stretches you can do to improve your flexibility; she chose to "keep it simple" with these six.

"We want to be flexible as well as strong," Rose said.

A few tips before you get started:

• Always warm up for five minutes before you stretch. Rose suggests just moving your body around, or a normal walking pace will do, too. "Always warm up before any activity," she said.

• When holding a stretch don't bounce. That could create injury, she said. "You're not really stretching if you're bouncing," she said. You'll also want to hold each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute and a half.

• You never want stretching to be painful. "I always tell people, you want to stretch the muscle to a place of discomfort, but it should still feel good," she said. "It shouldn't hurt."

• Breathe! "Use your breath to help relax the muscle so you can go deeper into the stretch," she said.


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