As warmer temperatures approach, and we start becoming more active outside, we often forget about certain aspects of our fitness. One is flexibility. During the summer, I cannot tell you how many times I hear about people working outside and being active but forgetting to stretch and work on their flexibility. Having said that, it should not be surprising then that flexibility is very commonly neglected in fitness. 

Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through the complete range of motion. For those that have undergone cancer treatments, you know that those treatments can often limit the range of motion one may have, which is why it is even more important for those individuals to continue the work on their flexibility. 

There are several kinds of stretching techniques such as:

  • Foam Rolling – this involves using a foam roller and a rolling motion to find a tender spot within the muscles; typically, you then hold that spot for 30-90 seconds depending on the intensity of the tender area.


  • Static Stretching – these can be done daily and involve holding a specific stretch for 20-30 seconds.
    • Some examples of static stretching might include a shoulder stretch (crossing one arm across the body and holding with the other hand), upper back stretch (clasping your hands together with the thumbs pointed down and the arms straight out; round your shoulders as you reach forward to stretch the back), and a hamstring stretch (while seated, bring one leg in to a butterfly position with the other leg straight out; bend forward at the waist towards the leg that is straight out; you can add in a reach towards the toes, but be cautious not to force the stretch)
  • Dynamic Stretching – to add these into a warm up, try using 3-10 exercises and doing 1 set of 10 repetitions for each.
    • Examples of dynamic stretches can include jumping jacks (or step jacks if you need a modification of jumping jacks), lunges, and banded side steps.


While stretching there are a few important tips to remember. 

  • First, depending on the type of stretch, stretch slowly until you feel the muscle tightness (this should not be painful), and hold that for approximately 30 seconds. 


  • Second, do NOT hold your breath. A common tendency is to hold our breath during these, but it is so important to remember to keep breathing through the stretch. 


  • Third, do NOT bounce. 


Especially with the upcoming seasons, remember to stretch. Keeping a good range of motion will greatly help keep you on a good track with your fitness!