One major component of anyone’s day is to stretch. Even if you do not have back problems, it is not good for your body to consistently stay wound up. You are either on your feet all day, you might sit in a chair for a while, or maybe you do a little of both.
You wake up in the morning, your bodies instant reaction is to stretch. We usually throw our arms back, extend our legs, and then give a massive yawn.
Think of how much more relief you could get, by just adding an extra 10 minutes of stretching out those muscles!
Anywhere, At Any Time.
The best part about stretching, is that you can do it anywhere is most comfortable to you; outside, inside, in the office, at the gym, your options are limitless.
If you are going to be stretching outside, I would suggest bringing a yoga mat, blanket, or at least finding a softer surface. Yoga mats are amazing because they are so versatile and very inexpensive. To find a great, cost-effective yoga mat — Click Here.
To gain the most from any stretch, I recommend an acupressure mat. The spikes in the mat trigger your senses and creates positive movement throughout your body, activating your natural healing response. To read my review on the Ajna Acupressure Mat — Click Here.
They have kids playgrounds with the padded floors, but you have to find a time when they are not running around. You also have the option to stretch on the grass, but I would bring a towel so that you do not ruin your clothes. If you are lucky enough to have the beach next to you, well then you are set up for success!
Finding A Quality Zone.
The most important step to any of this is finding an area that you can lose yourself and ignore the world around you. If I cannot exactly find a quiet area, I will create one. Grab your wireless headphone and turn on soothing sounds.
My favorite app for listening to music is Pandora; ocean waves are fun, they have a meditation station, or you can just play whatever music appeases your soul.
If you do not want to listen to music, take a moment to get out of the world. Focus on the task at hand or a specific sound you hear.
Something a lot of us forget to do throughout our day is breathe. We are stressed out or so focused, we skip the little steps. When I am stressed out my mind or have someone driving me crazy, this is my go to.
Take a deep breathe in, hold it, then release slowly. Repeat this about five times.
When you are taking a breath try to zone into your body; let your shoulders down, allow your arms to hang, and stretch out your legs.
With each breathe, allow the negative energy to leave your body and allow your mind to wonder; for this moment you are not at work or at the gym, the people around you do not exist, and the food can be made in 10 minutes from now. In this moment, you need to focus on your Qi.
Keep It Simple.
This is not a professional yoga session, focus more on how your body is feeling and less on if you are doing it correctly.
Start of by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and stretch your arms to the sky. Do not just put your arms in the air, try to stretch using your whole body as if your finger are trying to touch something above you. Take a deep breathe in and as you release, see if you can stretch your body out even more.
Slowly start to tilt your arm to the right, keep in mind that you want to keep your hips straight. The goal is to stretch out your core and do not forget to keep breathing. You should be breathing in as you are moving to the next step and breathing out to gain the most from the stretch. Now it is time to move to the left and repeat the process.
Release The Tension.
Using your soft surface, slowly bring your body to your hands and knees. Your knees should be lined up with your hips and your arms should be lined up with your shoulders.
Bring your bum to your feet, almost as if you are sitting on them. Taking your hands from their original location, stretch them forward again as if you are reaching for something. Your goal during this stretch is to keep your bum as close as you can to your feet while reaching your hands forward and stretching your back. Do not forget to breathe!
Both of these stretches are focused on your back and you can extend them for as long as you would like. These are 2 of my go-to’s if my back feels tight during the day.
To finish off stretching your back a little more, lie flat on your back with your arms straight out to either side with your palms facing down. Bring your knees to and upright position and cross your right knee over your left. Twisting your back, drop both knees to your left side. Do not over extend your back, your knees do not need to hit the floor. You should just be twisting enough so you feel the stretch on your back. Repeat this stretch on the other side, do not forget to switch legs and most of all breathe.
There are so many great stretches you can add onto this. If you have the time, please continue on!
I feel that normal routines are ones that take the least amount of time and are easy to implement, do not over think it. As you gain a routine, you can intensify the stretch or add more stretches to your day. I will make sure to add more 10 minutes stretches so you can alternate or add them together!
Thank you for your time, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!