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Stretch Yourself

If you’ve ever watched a Golden Retriever execute a perfect downward dog, you know that stretching is natural physiological activity that transcends even the boundaries of species. Advising people to stretch after exercise is a bit like telling people to eat their vegetables or to be quiet in the library. Everybody knows they should, but not everybody knows why.

Stretching lengthens muscles and connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) to promote flexibility and improve blood flow, leading to better posture, pain reduction, and even reducing stress.

While it’s always advisable to stretch lightly before physical activity (to warm up muscles), and more intensely afterward (to promote blood flow and muscle healing), regular stretching throughout the day can be just as important to maintaining overall health, posture and flexibility.

As the body ages, muscles can become tighter and range of motion in the joints can be minimized. A lack of flexibility can cause movement to become slower and less fluid, making an individual more susceptible to muscle strains or other soft tissue injuries. This can put a damper on active lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal motions. An increase in flexibility is accompanied by improved balance and coordination. (Fitday.com)  

It’s important to remain as flexible as possible. Here are some stretches that you can do at your office during the day, or even at your desk:

HAMSTRING STRETCH

Starting from a seated postion:

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Move to the edge of your chair. Keep your hips square and extend one leg forward, keeping a slight bend in your leg. 

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Lean forward and hold the stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds.

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NECK

Start in the acheter cialis en belgique seated position:

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Grab the back of your head with both hands:

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Gently pull your head forward and down, touching your chin to your chest:

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SHOULDERS

First, anchor one arm and shoulder by placing one hand palm down under your leg:

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Next, place your opposite hand on head (same side as anchoring arm):

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Gently pull your head away from the anchoring arm to stretch

your neck and trapezius muscles:

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If you want to improve your health even further, couple stretching with strength and conditioning exercises to improve core strength and balance as in Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi.

Far from being seen as ‘granola’ anymore, Yoga has become a very mainstream fitness activity, with studios, classes and private practices available just about everywhere. You can even find Yoga classes in cities like Warman, Saskatchewan (population 7,084).

If you live in the GTA, join us at BodyMend for restorative yoga classes; a great adjunct to any other massage, physio, or chiropractic treatments you might already be doing.

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