13 everyday stretches that will help you stay flexible and fit at any age

When it comes to stretching, there are a lot of options to choose from.

But what are the best everyday stretches for anyone looking to avoid sore muscles, get more flexible, and protect his or her muscles from injuries?

We turned to Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy at New York University and author of “Age Defying Fitness,” to go over some of the best basic stretches for everyone.

Remember: Don’t do these stretches if they make you uncomfortable or if you have existing muscle problems. Instead, consult a physical therapist.

First things first: Get seated with good posture. Having that will help you do these stretches correctly.

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Start with some neck rotations. Be sure to hold each side for 30 to 60 seconds. This applies to all stretches.

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For the neck tilt, be sure to pull your left arm down toward the floor, either holding onto the chair or just pulling down.

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Keeping your posture solid, move through your trunk rotations, again holding 30 to 60 seconds.

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For this pose, a little bend is all you need. It's just enough to stretch out your spine without going too far.

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The trunk lateral flexion will give the sides of your torso a great stretch.

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Now, it's time for a simple spine-stretching fold.

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For the back-scratch stretch, be sure the top palm is facing toward the body while the bottom palm faces out.

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Staying vertical, go into the classic quad stretch.

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For the heel-chord stretch, you should feel your back leg's muscles feeling the stretch, especially along the calf.

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Now, grab a mat and lie down. Your other leg should remain firmly on the ground.

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If you have an elastic strap, use it for this leg-extension stretch to get your leg even higher.

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To finish it, stretch out the back of your thigh with this pose. If the stretch is too intense, bring the uncrossed leg out farther.

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