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Health Tip: Stretch Safely

(HealthDay News) -- Stretching after exercise can help your body adjust to inactivity without pain or discomfort.

The American Council on Exercise offers these safe-stretching guidelines:

  • Don't stretch if muscles aren't warmed up.

  • Carefully stretch until there's light tension in the muscles, taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling.

  • Hold that position for 15-to-30 seconds, relax and repeat up to four times.

  • Stay still and don't bounce during stretching.

  • Don't push yourself to the point of pain; ease the stretch until it is comfortable.

  • Breathe normally as you stretch. Don't hold your breath.