Stretching safely exposes your body to the strenuous limits that your sport or activity may introduce. By stretching in advance, it “prepares” the body for meeting those limits as they occur by loosening up the muscles slowly and carefully. Without stretching, if your muscle is forced to endure certain limits (typically very quickly and strongly), it can cause damage to the muscles. Stretching in advance will reduce the risk of injury because the muscle is already “prepared” for that exertion of force.

Increases Blood Flow for Performance

depositphotos_76571291_originalNot only does stretching improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury, it will also help to improve the flow of blood through your body and the stretched muscles. Improved blood flow can help to improve overall performance, because each muscle is receiving more blood to help it perform more effectively.
Quick Tips for Stretching
Stretching doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should be worked into your exercising routine or before/after any physical activities.

  • Stretch major muscle groups, especially the areas you expect to use during your sport or activity.
  • Hold the stretch for a period of time (e.g., 30-60 seconds).
  • Breathe normally during your stretching sessions.
  • Aim for tension, but not for pain during your stretches.
  • Keep movements smooth and avoid bouncing.
  • Tailor your stretches for your sport or activity.

Stay consistent with your stretching habits (e.g., a few times per week).
We’ve launched our new Spanish website! When visiting  you will have access to read NCHS content entirely in Spanish. On the new website, you will be able to view our health center locations, hours of operation, meet our providers, and many additional features without the need for translating! cares about the needs of our communities, and creating a website in Spanish aims to provide valuable information in a way that is most convenient for you. This website is another way, we’re here for you!

As a parent we should always be keeping an eye on what our children are up to. Obesity can affect anyone, even if other age groups or demographics may be at larger risk. This is why it’s very important to monitor the types of activities that children are engaged in. While childhood obesity is a result of many different variables and factors, one of the largest contributors is taking part in an excessive amount of sedentary activities. Such activities include watching television, playing games on the computer, browsing the internet, watching videos online, and similar activities. While these are not inherently problematic, they can become a problem when done excessively.

Develop Proper Sleep Habits and Routines

Lack of sleep can result in the body’s inability to properly metabolize food efficiently. Without sleep, our bodies become less effective across the board and this can affect our weight in negative ways.

This is why it’s important to get children into proper sleep habits with regular bedtime routines that help them to maintain these habits without having to think about it.

Find Places to Stay Active

Although it’s important to limit sedentary activities in excess (like watching TV or playing on the computer), it’s sometimes not enough to counteract obesity in children. Children need to stay active and physically engaged through sports, exercise or other activities that keep them moving. While sports are not a requirement, finding ways for them to stay active is a great way to keep obesity away. Hiking and other family activities are a great way to get the entire family moving! are a few tips to motivate your kids to be more active.


For Oats:


  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
  • ¾ cup almond milk, unsweetened


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For Topping:

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions for Oats:

  1. First, mash 1/2 banana in a large bowl. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients in the mix until smooth.
  2. Add in dry ingredients and mix again.
  3. Place in the refrigerator,  covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve cold.