Did you know stretching can prevent musculoskeletal aging? Yup, it is true! When a muscle is overused or underused, it responds by shrinking or tightening which can cause stiffness. As explained by Dr. Ava Frick, DVM, "Stiffness can result in injury, leading to inactivity, and eventually speed up the aging of the musculoskeletal system. To remain supple, the connective tissue and muscles need regular stretching. Stretching helps resist the gradual shortening and tightening of tissue that otherwise sets in from both underuse and overuse, reducing discomfort and slowing the progressive loss of capacity that accompanies tightening." See Stretching Exercises for Horses: Are They Effective?, Dr. Ava Frick, DVM, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Vol. 30 No.1 (2010).
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Ilene Nessenson, Certified Equine Bodyworker, is the creator of Stretch Your Horse, a 25 horse stretching video tutorial collection.