Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stretching – Something So Simple!

Stretching is a good way to relieve muscle tension. Simple morning stretches help relieve the body tightness we develop while sleeping. Stretching prior to any physical activity also reduces your likelihood of injury. Basic stretching exercises require very little space to do and can be easily done at home or at work.

Simple stretching when you wake up in the morning, or before exercise, can be done in about five to ten minutes. Stretching in the morning will help you maintain a feeling of relaxation during the day.

Before exercising, always consider doing some simple stretches because exercise reduces stress. If you suffer from achy muscles and joints after exercise, your stress can be elevated again.

Stretching should never induce pain. If you feel pain while stretching, you may be pushing too hard. Never push or pull your muscles beyond comfort. The following are some simple stretching exercises.

1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or in your bed and reach up towards the ceiling. Pull your hands up over your head until they reach the floor or bed. Hold this pose for three to five seconds and repeat two to three times. This stretches the shoulders and chest.

2. Stay lying down and bend one knee. Place both hands around your knee and pull your leg up as close to your chest as is comfortable. Repeat this with your other leg. Then pull both legs up to your chest in the same manner. Hold this position for fifteen seconds. This stretches your lower back muscles.

3. Sit on the edge of your bed or a stool with your feet flat on the floor. Turn your head to look as far to the right as is comfortable and hold for three to five seconds. Do the same looking left. Then turn your head and shoulders to the right. Reach back behind you with your right arm. This time, while your head is turned, slowly move your head to look upward, and then downward. Repeat, turning to the left. This stretches your neck and shoulders.

4. Lie flat on your stomach. Bring your upper body up, leaning on your forearms. Look straight ahead. Lift your head slightly to look up, left, and then right. This stretches the neck, back, and abdominal muscles.

5. Squat down with your knees bent until your buttocks are as close to the floor as possible without falling backwards. Keeping your balance, lean forward and look upwards. This stretches your lower back, hamstrings, and buttocks.

Implementing a daily stretching routine can reduce common stress throughout the day. Be committed to morning and pre-exercise stretching.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.
Visit Carol’s website at http://www.booksbydenbow.weebly.com/

1 comment:

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