Stretching vital for good health

People stretching at the fitness corner at Tampines Central Park.
People stretching at the fitness corner at Tampines Central Park.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Dr Quek Koh Choon's letter was insightful (Strange ideas some have about being healthy, Aug 3).

He pretty much addressed all the main points that people should pay attention to for healthy living: cardiovascular fitness, muscle and joint strength, proper diet, and moderate sugar and alcohol intake.

Stretching seems to have been overlooked, though.

The perception that stretching is overrated, and hence often overlooked, is unsurprising.

Go to any gym, swimming pool or even HDB fitness corners, and you will see people - young and old alike - either not stretching properly before they begin their exercise regimen, or stretching half-heartedly and very briefly, which does not do any good.

With the increase in muscle mass through exercise comes tension, and tension invites aches, pain and injury. The antidote lies in stretching.

This point is not missed by even the elite US Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), home of the Navy Seals, who engages experts to teach its Navy Seals and other NSWC personnel how to stretch properly, recognising that flexibility through stretching is a key pillar of fitness in order to achieve operational longevity.

In our ongoing national narrative to encourage healthy living, let's not forget to include stretching in our exercise regimen.

Woon Wee Min