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Stretching & FlexibilityStretching improves flexibility, eases movement, and lowers the risk of injury and muscle strain. Stretching increases blood flow and gets your body ready for exercise. A warm-up and cool-down period of 5 to 15 minutes should be done slowly and carefully before and after all types of exercise. Stretching can help loosen muscles in the arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs, buttocks, thighs, and calves. It is also very relaxing. One of the easiest ways for a person to gain a more youthful image is to increase their flexibility. There are natural processes in our bodies that tend to make muscles and connective tissue shorter and less flexible with time. Muscles or ligaments that have become weak and stiff from disuse may experience pain and dysfunction for weeks, months and perhaps even years. Maintaining or regaining flexibility, particularly in the lower back area, is a very sensible investment of your time and effort. The correct way to execute a stretching exercise is to focus on the muscles being stretched. Moderate efforts applied consistently over time can achieve good results in flexibility, alleviating pain in back and strengthening muscles, particularly in joints.