You can always tell when you need to stretch. You wake up in the morning with stiff muscles, and it takes a while for your body to get loosened up. As we get older, it takes longer and longer to do this. Rather than wait for that tension to work itself out, it would help if you tried adding these 5 stretches to your daily routine.
Stretching provides several benefits like loosening and strengthening your muscles. You can also relieve stress, improve mobility and enhance balance. It also can increase blood circulation. This results in your muscles getting more oxygen and nutrients, which helps the body recover quicker. This is something we all need as we continue to age.
If you do not stretch and stay active as you get older, you’ll be more susceptible to falls and injuries. This can limit your mobility over time. By waking up a little earlier before work, taking a few minutes to complete these stretches will help keep your joints and muscles performing at peak condition. You have NO excuse not to do these!
#1 Toe Touch
The traditional toe touch is an easy exercise for everybody. There are many benefits to the whole body, including arms, shoulders, back, and legs.
Start by sitting on the floor or stand vertical with your legs extended. Now, reach for your feet, keeping the legs extended. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and then relax to your original position. Continue this exercise until you feel the tension release.
#2 Downward Dog
Downward dog is a popular exercise. This stretch covers a broad scope of muscles, including the back, hamstrings, arms, neck, and shoulders. It increases circulation and prepares you for the day. You can do this stretch at home with little experience.
Start in the plank position. Move your legs forward and hips upwards to make a triangle. With your head between your arms, you’ll feel the blood streaming towards your chest area. Ensure your heels are tucked to the floor.
Hold the stretch for a good 10 seconds, move back to your original position.
#3 Cat and Cow
If you’ve ever gotten up with a stiff back in the morning, this exercise is for you. It helps blood flow, reinforces your back muscles, and improves versatility.
Get on your hands and knees. Your wrists should align with your shoulders. Your knees should align with your hips. Bring your pelvis inward, keeping your eyes on the floor, and round your back. This should give you an upward curve in your spine. Now, twist your spine inwards as you breathe out. Gaze upward with a full stretch in your neck.
Relax and breathe in and breathe out as you progress between “cat” and “cow”. Moo.
#4 Spinal Twist
The spinal twist will improve your core and increase mobility. This one you should definitely add to your daily routine. It’s recommended that you complete 5-10 of these each set.
Start by lying on the floor. Twist your knees with the end goal to have your feet be level on the floor. Next, bend your left knee towards the opposite side of your body. Hold the position. You’ll feel the extension in your lower back.
Relax, then repeat with your other knee. Easy!
#5 Side Oblique Stretch
The side oblique stretch will get your hips and abdomen muscles working. It is a great technique to strengthen your core. Follow these steps to complete the exercise.
Start by remaining with feet shoulder-distance separated. Then lift one arm overhead with your palm inward. Stretch your arm and twist towards the left side. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides.
Stretching is something we all should do more often. As we continue to age, this becomes increasingly more important to our physical health and mobility. Ignoring your muscle’s need to flex and stretch can lead to injuries. Allow yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to do these stretches to maintain your long-term mobility.