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Working in the mountains for days on end can be an exhausting endeavor.  It requires strength, stamina and a solid mind-set.  Preparing your body for such a task takes preparation and time.  If you can convince yourself that your body is the most important tool that you bring to the job then you will have a long successful career.  Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the first step in this process.  Simple things like eating healthy, exercising and staying hydrated are a good base line when is comes to performance.  One simple exercise to help you prepare for a day in the field is some form of stretching.

When it comes to stretching we often think of a long drawn out process that will take upwards of an hour.  Timing comes into mind.  For example is it better to stretch before or after physical exertion?  Should I eat before hand? What if I’m not flexible enough?  The reality is that stretching can be facilitated in less than fifteen minutes right after breakfast before heading into the field and yes anyone is capable of doing it.  If you combine this with water and a healthy breakfast you are off to a great start and will feel great throughout the entire day.  



The great thing about stretching  is that it requires little gear.  It can be done anywhere and believe it or not you will see progress if you maintain a routine over time.  It is commonly believed that stretching before or after physical activity can reduce the chance of a strain or sprain injury by increasing the flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments, which in turn increases the range of motion in a joint.  

Static stretching is the most common form of stretching in the workplace.  This finvolvl shte muscle being stretched and held in place and is simple to perform.  The muscle is to be stretched through a 5- to 10-second voluntary muscle contraction followed by a 5- to 10-second voluntary muscle relaxation. With the hold-relax the muscle is placed into a static stretch.

It is important that once a stretching program has been initiated that it be maintained.  A structured program can have a positive impact in reducing musculoskeletal disorders and prevent workplace injuries.  There also may be a psychological benefit at work.  Managers, supervisors and workers together in a space doing a common activity can create bonding and increase workplace moral. This will make the employee feel supported and cared for from management.  Frequent stretching of the neck, shoulders, mid and low back, hips, elbows and forearms, and wrists, along with exercises for the entire body will help reduce stress, workplace injury and increase production allowing you for a long successful career in the mountains.

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