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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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