- Improve Your Flexibility. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that stretching can make you more flexible – I mean come one now. You knew this right? 🙂 Regularly stretching your muscles is actually really important, especially as you age. The reason why is your muscles shorten and you lose your flexibility (total bummer right!?), which is why it’s important to stretch them at least two or three times a week. (via Mayo Clinic)
- Improve Range of Motion in Joints. this actually goes along the same lines as flexibility… Improving the range of motion in your joints can lead to better athletic performance and a decreased risk of injury. Also, it can lead to better balance, which makes you less susceptible to falls and injury. When you do start stretching you want to make sure that you go for ‘symmetry’, what do you mean Natalie!? Well if you are stretching your left arm, make sure you do your right arm too! You don’t need to stretch until it hurts, either. Find the spot where you feel tension (not pain) and hold that stretch for 30 seconds. Hold for 60 seconds in problem areas. BUT one thing that is VERY important is making sure you BREATHE. Deep breathing in your lower stomach. (via Mayo Clinic)
- Increase blood flow to muscles. An increase of blood flow means better circulation (WOOHOO!). Good circulation is essential for overall good health and it also reduces muscle soreness after a workout. And the less sore you are, the easier it is to work out the next day! (I know..genious!) (via Mayo Clinic)
- Reduce stress. Stress is a large part of most people’s lives! We’re constantly on the hunt for new ways to reduce or relieve stress (AMIRITE). Simply stretch the stress away and come out of your workout with a clear mindset. Because stretching is technically exercising, your body experiences the endorphin-boosting effects that are famous for combating stress. It is absolutely amazing how better you can feel if you just take a beat and do some full body stretches when you are feeling stressed out. Try moksha yoga for a calming and strengthening workout. (via Fitday)
- Improve posture. Most office jobs consist of sitting at a computer all day, so for most of us (that means me too!), that means sitting hunched over with terrible posture as well. Stretching your back, neck and shoulders can help improve your posture, as long as you’re consciously making an effort to improve it throughout the day while sitting at your desk as well.
- Create a ritual. Stretching could become a pre or post-workout ritual that you come to enjoy and look forward to. However, you don’t want to stretch cold muscles immediately before a workout. Make sure to jog or walk for at least ten minutes before stretching. For an even better option, wait to stretch until after your workout. It works as a great, relaxing cool down. (via Mayo Clinic)
In the video below I have 4 stretches that are for your neck and shoulders that you can do right at your desk! No getting up needed. Get ahead and try them out and let me know what works for you! 🙂