Should a child stretch before exercising?
From Sally S. Harris, M.D., MPH
Should my child be stretching and warming up before exercising? What is the best way to do this?
Stretching and warming up are most important during periods of rapid growth, such as during the adolescent growth spurt. Stretching and warming up have not been proven to prevent injury, but they seem prudent. In general, activity sessions should be structures to include:
- Limbering up (5 minutes)
- Stretching (5-10 minutes)
- Warm-up (5 minutes)
- Primary activity
- Cool down and stretching (5-15 minutes)
Stretching should involve the major muscle groups and be done slowly and steadily, holding each stretch 15-20 seconds and repeating the stretch several times.