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Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Stretch

We’ve probably all gotten the “you should really be stretching every day” lecture. And I hate to make you sit through another one. Just think about it though. Let’s consider the circumstances. We’re all stuck at home, still trying to keep up with work, make sure our families are taken care of, and the list goes on–oh and everything is closed. We can’t go to the gym or parks or most places where we can get in some exercise. So with these circumstances in mind, think about how you’re habits and routines have changed. Odds are working out has become a bit of a struggle, you’re probably sleeping in later, staying up later, and giving in to some junk-food cravings. Now, don’t feel bad, you’re definitely not alone in this.

But with all of that said, now do you understand why I’m about to tell you why stretching every day is even more important now? — thank you for understanding

Benefits of Stretching

  • Flexibility
  • Range of Motion
  • Increased Blood Flow
  • Pain Relief
  • Stress Relief

Stretching Routine

If you’ve been struggling to really feel motivated during social distancing, I’m right there with you. So, baby steps here. Your stretching routine does not have to do 30 minutes long. You don’t have to do a ton of stretches. Make it doable, for you, your time, your schedule. You want to stick to it, so don’t make it overly complex.

  1. Go slow at first. You’ll want to feel out the stretches to figure out what feels easy, too hard, or just right.
  2. Start with 10-20 minutes. This is a good range to get in a good stretch, but if you want to take your time with it, feel free.
  3. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and avoid bouncing.
  4. Find the right stretches for you. Take a moment to look up stretches for “lower back” or “hamstrings”–whatever areas you know are more tight or prone to feeling sore than others. Once you’ve got a list of about 10 stretches, there’s your routine.

**If you currently have a current or persistent injury, stretching has the capability to make it worse, so listen to your body and don’t over-do it.

Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.healthline.com

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