It is really important that everyone stretches their body properly.  This will help relieve all sorts of aches and pains, including tight muscles following an illness or injury.

Before stretching, warm your leg muscles by walking around the house, or up & down the stairs, 4 times.

Ensure the chair is sturdy and without arms, a dining chair would be best.  Sit halfway forward in the chair, so that your feet are flat on the floor. Always remember to breathe naturally.

CALF

Dig one heel in front of you, so the leg is straight and the knee relaxed. Keep both hands on the thigh of the bent leg. Pull the toes of the straight leg in towards you for the count of 4 then relax the toes. Repeat this 8 times, then look towards your toes and give them a wiggle.

BACK OF THIGH

Keep that leg straight, with both hands still on the other thigh. Bend forward from your hips until you feel a gentle stretch down the back of the thigh. Hold that position and remember to breathe. If you cannot feel the stretch, slide forward slightly on the chair until you can feel it. Hold this for a count of 8 then gently pull the toes in towards you, so there is more of a stretch down the back of the knee, again for the count of 8. Remember to breathe naturally. Lift your head up first so you are sitting comfortably, then slide the leg in and put your foot flat on the floor.

Repeat both stretches on the other leg.

INNER THIGHS

Take both feet out wide and let your toes follow the angle of your knees. Bend your upper body forward and put your hands or elbows on the inside of your knees to gently push them away. Hold for the count of 8 then curl your head up first before bringing one foot back to the natural position, then the other.

OUTER THIGH

Sit cross legged by placing one knee across the other. Use both hands to pull the top knee across your body, so you feel a stretch of the outside of the thigh and under the cheek of your bottom. Hold for the count of 8 then change to the other side.

Come up to standing and walk around to the back of the chair.

FRONT OF THIGH

Bend one knee, so the foot comes off the floor. Reach the arm on the same side behind until you can reach your foot. Pull the heel back and bring your knees together as much as possible. Hold this for the count of 8, remembering to breathe. Bring the foot down and repeat the stretch on the other side.

Best wishes

Jane Ardley