Following the trend of rebirth and new energy that is associated with spring, enjoy this informative post sharing three simple stretches that can be done by people of all abilities and ages.
Stretches to try:
-Sitting on a chair, put your palms on your thighs next to the crease of your hips. Press your palms down into the fleshy part of your thighs so that your arms and spine lengthen. This exercise will both stretch and strengthen.
-Sitting on a chair, straighten your arms, then raise them over your head—like the top half of a jumping jack. This exercise will open your chest and get blood pumping throughout your upper body, which is a quick way to brighten your mood and change your perspective. Go slowly if your goal is building strength or quickly to receive the benefits of cardio work.
-Sitting on a chair with your shoes off, raise and straighten one leg. It does not need to be parallel to the floor—raise it to a level that feels sustainable. Point your toes, and rotate your ankle in small circles. Reverse the circles before lowering your leg and doing this exercise on the other leg. Play around a bit—it might feel good to alternate between pointing and flexing your foot or holding your foot in place.
Depending on the stretches you choose to do, you may feel some discomfort. Identify it (is it in your hip? Your thigh?) and then breathe into it with purpose: as you inhale, focus your energy on that spot, and as you exhale, imagine the discomfort dissolving. Remember that some discomfort is normal, but you should never feel pain. If you get into a stretch and feel like you need to release immediately, that’s a sign that you should not go so deep.
These stretches may seem minor or insignificant, but there is nothing more powerful than the repetition of small actions. Try these stretches two times per day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. This will help you gain awareness of your body and the way it changes throughout the day. In the morning, it might not feel as good to stretch deeply since you may still be tight from sleeping. After your body wakes up and your muscles loosen as you go about daily activities—such as walking, reaching for a book on a shelf, or bending to pick up something that has dropped—you’ll notice that your body is naturally more capable of deeper stretches.