Those of you who have followed the fitness mission workouts should, by now, have almost all the info you need to take control of your fitness from the comfort of your own home.

We’ve covered a huge range of exercises to tone, trim and shape your body and you can catch them all below or my website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Today I am going to go through some stretches that will help complement the strengthening exercises from the last article.

If you followed the last article you will be aware that excessive sitting can cause some muscles to become short and tight and their opposing muscles to become long and weak.

The sample stretches below will work alongside the strength exercises to keep your posture and back healthy. 

There is some debate on the best time to stretch; morning and evening are both popular times for stretch routines, as are pre- and post-exercise.

With the stretches here, my advice is to pick a regular time, or times (even in front of the TV), and make stretching a healthy habit. Hold each stretch for between 30 seconds and one minute to the point of mild discomfort without bouncing, breathing normally, and then relax.

Three to five repetitions of each stretch per day is recommended – but let’s face it, one good stretch is better than none!

Consult your physiotherapist, chiropractor, specialist or GP if you have any pre-existing back/medical conditions/injuries or doubt your health is sufficient to safely participate. Refrain from using these stretches in times of flare up and be reminded that these stretches are performed entirely at your own risk.

Cold muscles are prone to tearing so get your muscles warm and pliable before stretching – try marching for around 3 minutes lifting the knees high and exaggerating your arm movements.

Next month will be my final fitness mission piece but I will be writing special features from time to time and will be producing a series of whistle-stop workout videos to keep you looking and feeling fit. Until next time stay healthy, fit and stretchy.