While the benefits of daily exercise are well known, the benefits of a regular stretching routine are far less emphasised BUT just as important.
Incorporating stretching into your daily routine is just as important to health and body functioning as regular exercise.
If you’re feeling a little low, then a good stretch is beneficial for your body and your mind. A regular morning routine of stretching and light exercise has been proven to give you a good night’s sleep.
For The Body
Stretching can help improve:
– range of motion in your joints
– your performance in physical activities
– decrease the risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion + enabling your muscles to work most effectively
– enhances muscular coordination
– increases blood flow to the muscle
– increases energy levels
For The Mind
A buildup of stress causes your muscles to contract, becoming tense. This tension can go on to have a negative impact on just about every part of your body.
Like all types of exercise – stretching has powerful stress-busting abilities. Spending just a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) stretching each day can help calm the mind – a mental break,boost self-esteem providing and giving your body a chance to recharge.
Stretches for better sleep:
Targets: Back, hips, and hamstrings
– Lie faceup. Bend knees into chest and grab inside edges of feet with hands, palms out.
– Bring knees out to sides, then lower toward armpits, keeping heels above knees, feet flexed.
– Hold for 8 to 10 breaths, gently rocking from side to side.
What you’ll need: A pillow
Tip: With each pose, breathe in and out through your nose for a calming effect on the nervous system.
Targets: Neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs
– Sit on floor with pillow in front of you. Bend left knee, bringing sole of left foot to right inner thigh. Lift butt and extend right leg behind you.
– Staying centered, gently hinge forward from hips, placing head on pillow. Extend arms forward, elbows slightly bent.
– Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
Targets: Hips and legs
– Lie face-up with knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms extended by sides, palms up.
– Keeping shoulders down, engage abs and press into heels to lift hips and back to form a diagonal line from shoulders to knees.
– Hold for 8 to 10 breaths; lower.
Targets: Neck, shoulders, back, and hips
– Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
– Place right hand on left elbow, left hand on right elbow.
– Bend over from hips, letting arms and head hang down.
– Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Gently roll back up.
Want to learn how to stretch and look after your body? Click HERE!