Ask Dr. Tim Church
How Long Should I Stretch?

Q: I know it's important to do stretches before any fitness regimen. How long should my stretching routine take before I get into my workout?
Amy, Oregon

A: There are no hard-and-fast rules for exactly how much stretching you should do, and it really depends on the type and intensity of the particular workout you're doing. For a basic running, walking, or aerobic workout, 5 to 15 minutes should be enough. For a more vigorous workout, such as the various martial arts, 20 to 30 minutes or more may be necessary.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Fitness Center.

Last Updated: 05/03/2010
Dr. Tim Church is the director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.