Should you stretch to warm up or warm-up to stretch? Well, both are true. Where you stand on this argument is a whole other blog. Let’s just agree WE ALL need to do it more. It’s a simple way to improve your health. Okay I get it you are busy, you get involved, you have work, life obligations, stuff to do!
SO what is the solution? I love to take wellness cues from the body & its reactions. What does this mean in regard to stretching? What happens 1st thing in the AM, your body wants to stretch, break out of the mold it’s been in, move fluids, get going, yawn to fill your body with new oxygen supplies and all its benefits, take what is in there, all fabulous nourishing fluids & course them all throughout your body. Baffles me why we don’t do this more often. SO just like waking up every day, why not add it to other routines? Create a cue or a conditioned response to existing stimuli. This will make a brain pathway that will trigger you to stretch regularly in that space.
So here are six simple ideas to assist you in achieving your goal
1 In the shower-most of us shower occasionally, if not daily (no judgments if you don’t, lol) Just saying mainly we bathe at some point during the week. This is an excellent opportunity to stretch, my favorite here is your neck muscles. The water has warmed them up! It should be a smooth lovely stretch! Hug yourself (reaching for your shoulder blades) and tuck your chin to your chest, hold for 30 secs, switch the arm on top & repeat. The bonus here, studies show hugging yourself can have some great benefits too! (link to effects of touch).
2 Walking into a doorway– I think when going in (depending on how badly you need to be there, lol) or out of the bathroom is a good one, we all go at some point right? Pick a doorway any doorway that you walk through daily, pause grab the door frame with your arm about 45 degrees and GENTLY twist your torso, while keeping your feet planted, breathe!
3 Clock change hourly– he’s one many of us do, look at the clock (aka your phone), whether your reaction is, its only 10 AM! Or 10 AM already, make note of the hourly change, its 10, 11, 12 and so on. Every-time you notice it’s a new hour, move something, shake your hands, stand up,. Sit up straight move your head back & forth, side to side, ear to shoulder, both sides for balance.
4 Meal time-Well now you have to eat right? Are we getting the idea, there many solid routines we have already embedded in our lives. Why not add a healthy 30 sec-1 minute stretch before you dive into your meal, seated or standing, raise your arms over your head, interlace your fingers and twist your palms up, facing the ceiling, inhale & gently bend at the waist to one side, back to center them the other, viola` done, enjoy your dinner!
5 Drive time-Okay not advocating multi-tasking while driving by any means, Again, adding cues to existing routines, offers a greater chance for continued practice & success. When you park and get to your destination, or before you go. Even if you are in a hurry, pause, then breathe, the moment can have many benefits. Can even take on a meditative quality, now that’s the kind of multitasking I can endorse, body & mind benefits!
6 TV time-or whatever routine you have at the end of the day, book/reading time, meal prep, kids lunches, decompress time (learn to relax), etc. Hopefully, you have the idea by now! I’d love to hear from you!
Start with ONE, not all of these. This is a keep it simple blog, once one becomes a habit, move onto the next one, how long this takes is up to you. I’ll wager that you will start to feel so good that you accomplished something, you will move onto the next one in no time at all. What kind of stretches you do ultimately will depend on your body, your needs, your abilities. The ones I have mentioned are just suggestions. There are so many options, and you have to work where you are, start where you are. There are also MANY resources to find good stretches, on the internet, get a book at the library, or for individual attention & instruction, you can even book an appointment, to have someone show you all of these or new ones, with me or another staff member. Whatever path you choose, INVEST IN YOURSELF! It’s worth it!
Cheers to your Best Self!
*items here are intended for entertainment and information, should be not be substituted for medical advice, health concerns should be directed to qualified medical personnel.