Stretching: Not Just for Athletes
Everyone Can Benefit from Stretching
We know that massage therapy provides many physical and mental benefits – but did you know that something as simple as adding a few stretches to your weekly routine will add to these benefits? Stretching can enhance your physical condition as well as provide a great way to relieve stress. And everyone can benefit from stretching, regardless of age, gender, physical condition or range of flexibility.
Getting Started is Easy!
Stretching has many health benefits, including providing mental clarity and relaxation, greater flexibility and injury prevention, and increased energy levels. All this can leave you with an overall greater sense of well-being. And who couldn’t use that!
It’s easier than you think to add a few simple stretches into your daily living routine, and taking just a few minutes every day to stretch can provide noticeable results. There are many resources available to use in creating a custom stretching regimen, but here are a few basics to get you started.
Basic Stretches – a Good Place to Start
Gentle neck stretch: sit or stand, relax your shoulders, and make sure your back is straight. Bring your left ear down to your left shoulder, and hold there for a few seconds. Roll your chin to your chest for a few seconds more, then bring your right ear to your right shoulder, and repeat.
Hip flexor stretch: Kneel down onto your left knee, with your right foot in front of you, so that your right knee is bent at 90 degrees. Put your right hand on your right knee, and your left hand on your left hip. Push your left hip forward, so that your hip is in front of your knee (you will be leaning forward slightly). Keep your chest up, and don’t bend at the hips. Hold for 10-20 seconds and change sides.
Standing side stretch: Standing with your feet together, raise your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, inhale as you reach up. Exhale and move your upper body to the right. Return to upright position on your inhale; repeat on left side.
Forward hang: Stand with knees bent, feet hip-distance apart. Interlace your fingers behind your back (if you can’t reach, use a dish towel to bridge the gap). Breathe in and straighten your arms as much as you can. Exhale, bend at the waist, and let your hands stretch towards your head. Hold for five deep breaths.