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Health Update

Monday July 23, 2018

Courtesy of Russell R Van Hemert DC

Stretches To Do Every Day

Stretching can be a little tedious but it is an incredibly important part of your fitness routine. When the muscles don’t get stretched out they tighten up and leave you open to injury and strains. No matter what sort of physical activity you’re into you are bound to need more stretching than what you would need if you were inactive. Even if you are currently inactive, your daily routines might be putting some strains on your muscles as well. Here are some stretches you should be doing everyday to keep you body limber and working harmoniously.

One part of the body that we tend to extend in a single direction is our hunching back and shoulders. A lot of us work at desks and in front of computers, spend a lot of time driving, and even might hunch forward on the spin bike. Try holding together your hands behind your back and lifting with straight arms to open up the shoulders and the back in the opposite direction as your slump. If you do this regularly you can help prevent losing your good posture and also prevent your back from aching. You should also be toning the muscles in your core (front and back) to help you keep your posture and hold up your frame throughout the day.

To stretch out the length of your spine, try bending over at the waist with your legs slightly spread and let your upper body hang down. You can gently put your hands behind your head and fold them and let them hang as well for some extra pull to the stretch. This can help reduce the feeling of compression that sometimes occurs throughout the day when we are sitting and the back contracts into a slouchy pose.

If you spend a lot of time sitting you will want to stretch out by doing a lunge as well. The psoas muscle that helps to lift the legs actually shortens a bit as you sit so it is important to counteract that by keeping up with your stretching. Try putting one knee on the floor and foot on the floor with the knee bent. Put your hands on your hips and lean forward into the bend knee to feel a deep stretch in the psoas, which should go from your low abs and hip to the back. If this pose hurts your knee that is on the ground you can put down a little padding or do it one a rug.

Once you realize how good stretching actually feels and maybe notice some differences in the way that you’re feeling it will be easy to keep incorporating it into your daily routine. If you have a hr=ard time remembering to do it, try putting some in right when you wake up in the morning, during your lunch break at work, or right before bed at night.

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