Stretching Tips

Stretching is a fantastic way to improve your flexibility and lower your chance of getting injured. Learn more about stretching and why you should add it into your weekly routine.

stretching tipsThe Mayo Clinic says stretching – holding a muscle in an elongated position for 30 seconds or longer –  can help improve your range of motion and decrease your risk of injury. But stretching cold muscles can do more harm than good. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Don’t stretch cold muscles. Take a walk, a light jog, or a short bike ride before stretching. This should last between 5 and 10 minutes, then it will be safe to stretch. Or, stretch at the end of your workout when muscles are warm.
  • If you’re going to participate in a race or other event, practice dynamic stretching. This is performing movements that are similar to what you’ll be doing. For example, runners can do leg lifts or walking lunges to warm up their muscles.
  • Try to have equal flexibility on each side of your body and try not to compare yourself to others because everyone has a different level of flexibility.
  • Focus on major muscles such as quadriceps (front thigh), hamstrings (back thigh), calves, hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck
  • Don’t bounce. Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
  • If you feel pain, you’ve stretched too far. Back off a little and continue to hold the stretch.
  • Research gyms and yoga studios near you for a stretching class if you prefer to have guidance.

The Mayo Clinic recommends stretching two-to-three times a week to maintain your current level of mobility and flexibility. Here are some basic stretches to get you started.

Kitchen Dangers

common kitchen dangers


The kitchen is the heart of the home, where families and friends gather to share delicious meals and stories. But it’s also a place of danger. According to Consumer Reports, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for kitchen accidents, but they can occur at any time.

Common Kitchen Dangers

  • The stove top or oven

    Burns range from minor to serious.  Open flames on the stove top can catch clothing, potholders, or dishtowels on fire.  This can lead to a full-blown kitchen fire if not careful, hair and eyebrows can get singed. Grease fires and boiling water pose dangers too. Children can try to climb on it and cause it to tip over, leading to a crushing injury.

  • Dishes, glasses, and cookware

    When dropped, they can break or shatter, causing a hazard to people and pets.   Be sure to get all the broken pieces up, no matter how small. Block off the area until you can confirm removal of each tiny piece.

  • Sharp knives

    This is one of the most common ways people get injured in the kitchen.  Cuts range from minor to those needing stitches.

  • Garbage disposals

    Never stick your hand in a garbage disposal that is running because you could get cut or lose a finger.

  • Blenders and food processors

    People can easily get cut on the very sharp blades. Use a dishwasher instead of trying to clean these small appliances by hand. Make sure they are turned off and unplugged before reaching in.

  • Sponges

    Sponges are full of bacteria and one of the most dangerous things in the kitchen. Run them through the dishwasher weekly and replace them often.

  • Countertops

    Countertops can get contaminated by dirty sponges or dishtowels, spoiled food, or raw meat and seafood.  Keep them clean with vinegar and baking soda or your favorite cleaning product.

  • Food

    If food is left out for too long it can spoil and cause people to get sick; raw meat and seafood can contaminate counter tops, knives, and cutting boards

Be aware of these kitchen dangers and pay attention to what you’re doing at all times to lessen your chance of injury. When it comes to your health, Be Sure.

Fire Safety

When a fire suddenly erupts in your home you have only about two minutes to escape without risk of injury. Within five minutes your home can be engulfed in flames. This means you’ll barely have time to gather your family and pets before you need to get out. Be prepared by having a fire safety plan in place that is revised and practiced by all members of your household twice a year and learn these tips for fire safety.

fire safety tipsThe Red Cross offers these Tips for Fire Safety:

  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, inside bedrooms and near sleeping areas
  • Test the smoke alarms monthly, change batteries as needed
  • Practice your fire safety plan twice a year
  • If there’s a fire get out and never go back in for anything or anyone

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room
  • Have a collapsible ladder to escape from upper levels
  • Make sure windows can be opened and screen can pop out quickly
  • Ensure security bars on windows can be opened easily
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house with your eyes closed
  • Teach children how to escape and not fear firefighters

In addition, have digital copies saved of all important documents such as birth certificates and sleep with your bedroom door closed. Buy a fire extinguisher for your kitchen and learn how to use it properly. Learn proper fireplace safety too.

When it comes to your family’s safety, Be Sure.