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Stretching For Your Body, Mind and Soul.
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Research has proven time and time again when you incorporate a basic stretching routine into your day you experience numerous benefits including happiness and an overall lower stress level; so let’s get to it! Start mindfully and listen to your body and inner wisdom, always do what is right for you.
Simple stretches go a long way in preventing injury and improving your mental health. Today, I am sharing my top five reasons to stretch, tips on how to stretch, and even some beginner stretches to get you moving.
Top five reasons to stretch:
Prevent injury by increasing flexibility.
Feel happier and more positive.
Loosens muscles and relieves muscle fatigue.
Overall stress relief.
How to Stretch:
Only stretch to the point where you feel a slight tension.
Relax as you stretch.
Breathe slow and in control.
Forget the old saying “no pain, no gain.”
Pay attention to your body, pain is an indicator that something is wrong and please, remember to breathe!
Count slowly 10-30 seconds while you stretch. If you are holding your breath, or the mild tension does not decrease as you maintain the stretch, then you need to ease off.
Three Beginner Stretches:
Lay on the floor.
Raise your arms above your head.
Stretch your arms and feet in opposite directions as if someone was pulling them.
Grow tall while you inhale.
Hold for five to ten seconds, relax as you exhale.
Repeat two times.
Sit or stand, maintaining good posture.
Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
Hold for five seconds, repeat three times.
Check in to ensure you are not clenching.
Sit, stand or lay down.
Take a deep breath.
As you breathe out slowly turn your head to the right.
Hold the stretch for three deep breaths.
Rotate your head back to middle facing forward.
Take an even deeper breath.
Slowly rotate your head left while exhaling.
Hold the stretch for three deep breaths
On the third exhale turn your head back to midline.
With any stretch, check in to ensure you are not tightening other areas while trying to stretch a specific muscle.
Why you should stretch twice a day.
A.M. stretch is a great way to start the day. A morning stretch boosts your energy level by increasing blood flow while promoting a sense of tranquillity.
P.M. An evening stretch relaxes your muscles and alleviates tension which means you will have a better night’s sleep.
Why you should stretch every day!
When you relax your muscles – you relax all of you!!
A few minutes a day will help keep the stress away.
Regular stretching done in a safe, comfortable manner increases your flexibility which continues to gradually improve over time.
You will see experience positive changes in your body shape, and even lose inches when you continue to expand your stretching practice. Ready for more stretching? Check out this post >> Yoga for the next step.
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31 responses to “Stretching For Your Body, Mind and Soul.”
I will have to make stretching more of a routine!
I definitely need to stretch more so I get a bit more flexible!
Tina, it is worth the benefits to give it a go :).
This is neat to know! Makes me think I should definitely be getting into yoga!
This is great… I don’t stretch in the evening but now I think I’ll start! Thanks for sharing.
Glad to hear it Nickia, there are also some awesome stretches you can do before you even get out of the bed in the morning to start your day off right.
Stretching whilst reading and now feel great thanks!
Thanks for stopping in Livvy. You really can get in a stretch while doing almost anything, a few deep breaths work wonders too.
I need to start back up with my stretches. The only thing that could have made this better were some picture demo’s! I always worry about my form!
Hi Kanani, thanks for stopping by today. Great suggestion about adding some pictures. I appreciate your feedback!
I definitely need to do a better job of stretching a few times a day. Thanks for the reminder, and these great tips!
Thanks for the comment Candyce, there are days I need someone to remind me too!
This is such a great list of reasons why stretching is important. I have noticed that if I do not incorporate stretching into my daily routine, I can totally tell. I have a job that is kind of taxing on the body and stretching has truly helped me make it through my shifts. Thanks for the reminder of its importance to other aspects in life
Hi Victoria, thank you for checking in with us. It is important to listen to the clues our bodies give us. A few breaks to stretch during a workday can have a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.
stretching is very important to gain flexibility , I guess i need to do more now
As a regular yoga practitioner, I agree. There are great benefits with just a little gentle stretching each day.
Hi Janet, how long have you been practicing yoga? The benefits I have noticed in my life over the past two years are stunning, it keeps me balanced and aware of my body and promotes healing in all areas of life. Come back soon to check out my post about the benefits of yoga!
Great tips! The first thing I do every morning is stretch, followed by Yoga. Keeps me fit and fine!
Thanks for stopping by Mandeep! I love yoga and it is a daily routine I can’t go without! I love the mind-body connection to a yoga workout, I am writing a post about yoga and should have it live next week. Come back and let me know what you think!
Every since I started working out at the beginning of this year, I find myself stretching a LOT. Not just before and after work outs either. I just get the urge to stretch, so off I go!
Hi Sarah, I know what you mean, it seems when we start paying attention to our body we ‘hear’ what it needs, and stretching is part of that! Keep up the workouts and take care!
Yes!! Stretching is amazing for you. I love to do yoga in the morning. It totally gets me going and makes my body feel wonderful.
Hi Danielle, I absolutely cannot go a day without yoga and stretching!
Stretching is so essential! After every bike ride my husband and I make sure to stretch thoroughly. Thanks for sharing these tips!
Good point Lacee! So important to stretch before and after many other forms of exercise!
I went back into your older post today, and found this gem. I love it and really need to remember to my do yoga more regularly. Maybe I will make this a New year’s resolution.
Thank Jennifer! I will ask you how the Yoga resolution is going. Yoga with Adrienne has an awesome online yoga series to get the year started right, The Yoga Revolution! You should check it out, I am sure you will love it.
I like to walk in the early mornings before work. I really feel it in my Achilles tendon when I’m done which makes it hard to stand in heels all day. Light bulb moment: I haven’t been stretching first! Thank you for this reminder.
Stretching is so important. I remember once I fell down and I was lucky enough not to sprain my ankle and the doctor told me it was because I was so stretched. 🙂 But I stopped stretching a while ago and now need to get back to my stretching routine.
This is a fab list to print off pre and post run. Everyone over looks it but it’s so important. This is going to help me for sure.