Learning healthy habits early in life is one of the key elements to being a healthier adult. Aside from teaching children the importance of regular physical activity for excellent overall health, stretching before and after exercise is equally important.
As in adults, stretching in children can reduce tension in the muscles and consequently reduce the risk of injury. An added benefit is improved flexibility and range of motion resulting in more efficient movements. Also, blood flow to the muscles is increased, which creates enhanced performance.
Sample stretches for your little one
- Shoulder stretch – While your little ones stand, have them outstretch their arms horizontally, with their palms facing down. Let them press the arms backwards as if they’re squeezing something in the shoulder blades. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
- Hamstring stretch – While your children sit on a mat or hard surface, have them extend both legs in front of them while making sure their back is straight. Instruct them to reach for their toes while leaning forward slowly. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
- Knee to Chest – Have your children lie on the floor. Instruct them to bend their knees, bringing them to their chest. They should be breathing regularly while rocking back and forth. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
If your little one has sustained a sports-related injury, we’ll help him or her get back in the game! Call us at 212.876.5200 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.