Stretch often to avoid injury

Athlete training tips

Special Olympics BC athletes are passionate advocates for health and wellness, which is why Special Olympics Health Messengers are now delivering monthly training tip videos! 

This month's training tip comes from Vincent Li, a Special Olympics BC – Richmond athlete who recently completed Special Olympics Health Messenger training. He is extremely passionate about getting athletes actively involved in their own wellness, so be sure to check out Vincent's video and challenge below!

Stretching is very important for your health and your body. Complete warm-ups and stretching exercises for your body to get the blood flowing before starting any workouts or sports to reduce the chance of injuries or pulled muscles.

Always start your stretching from head to toe, with each stretch lasting for about 20 to 30 seconds each. When warming up it is important to perform dynamic stretches that use movement during the stretch (such as high-knees or walking lunges). Stay hydrated and remember to have water with you when you are working out.

If certain movements hurt, stop doing it immediately. It is important to start slow. Cooling down is just as important as warming up. When cooling down we can perform stationary static stretches to bring our heart rate down and release our muscles, keeping us ready for our next workout!

Vincent’s challenge: "I want to challenge all the athletes, and coaches to stretch more!  My challenge to you is for you to spend 10 minutes, every day for an ENTIRE week (seven days), stretching your body. Make sure to include stretches from your head to toes!"

Check out the following stretching resources