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10 Stretches To Do Anytime During The Day

It's no secret that we've all been struggling adjusting to a new forced sedentary life during quarantine. But this doesn't mean that we need to suffer from its consequences such as stiffness, tightness and general body-aches. In fact, it is possible to lessen the risk of inactivity by engaging in simple exercises that keep your body moving throughout the day. What you need to do in order to avoid such a situation is take regular breaks. Set a schedule for yourself and make a point of taking regular 5-10-minute breaks from your work every 2-3 hours.

1. Standing side stretch

Standing Side Bend is a basic standing pose that stretches the spine and obliques and promotes better posture. This pose also strengthens the legs.

Stand tall with feet and legs together and reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale. Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen the left arm over the head, bending body gently to the right.

Inhale to return arms overhead to center and exhale as you repeat on the left side.

2. Quad stretch

While standing, hold onto a countertop or chair back to assist in balance. Bend your knee back by grasping your ankle with one hand. Assist in bending your knee back as far as possible. Don't lock your standing knee during the stretch. Keep it soft.

Also, do not bounce while performing the stretch. If you find yourself doing so, you should stabilize yourself by holding onto a chair or wall. Maintain position for 30 seconds and then return to standing position.

Repeat exercise 3 to 5 times with each leg.

3. Cat pose

Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Point your fingertips to the top of your mat. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.

Begin by moving into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling. Broaden across your shoulder blades and draw your shoulders away from your ears.

As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling.

Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest.

Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.

Repeat 5-20 times, and then rest by sitting back on your heels with your torso upright.

4. Forward hang

Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart, legs straight and knees unlocked. Inhale, then on the exhale, slowly release and bend forward, allowing your hands to drop towards your ankles. Allow your head and neck to release and hang heavy towards the floor.

Inhale, and on the exhale, bring your arms to a crossed position, hanging towards the floor and under your shoulders. Relax into this pose and breathe for five to 10 breaths. Bend your knees slightly, then slowly unroll back up to a standing position.

5. Back twists

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat against the floor. Extend your arms out to the side in a T position. Keep your shoulders against the floor as you move through this stretch, and tighten the core to support the upper spine and shoulders. Lying on the ground, gently rock your knees side-to-side, beginning to warm the muscles.

Then drop the knees to one side. If they can touch the ground, that is fine, but be sure to do so without lifting the opposite shoulder from the ground. If you need a bolster, that is fine.

Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching to the other side.

6. Cross-body shoulder stretch

Start standing or sitting tall. Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand, and pull it across your body toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.

Make sure to keep your elbow below shoulder height.

Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

7. Overhead triceps stretch

Start standing or sitting tall. Bring one arm overhead and drop your forearm behind you, resting your hand on your back between your shoulder blades.

With your other hand, grab right above your bent elbow and pull gently, until you feel a stretch in your shoulder and the back of your arm.

Try to keep your bicep close to your ear, and don’t force it past.

Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

8. Reverse prayer pose

Roll your shoulders back a few times before you start this pose to make sure that your shoulders aren’t all the way up by your ears.

Then, reach your hands behind your back and press your palms together in a prayer position. If your hands don’t come all the way together, you can always just touch your knuckles together or use a yoga strap, resistance band, or towel to bind them.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

9. Shoulder rolls

Stand comfortably on the ground with your feet slightly apart from each other and arms hanging down at the sides of the body. Inhale and lift your shoulder up towards your ears.

Now move your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Exhale and drop the shoulder back.

Now again bring your shoulders in the front and repeat the same step.

10. Legs up the wall

Bring your hips close (5–10 cm) to the wall and let your legs rest. Close your eyes, relax your body and progressively deepen your breathing. Concentrate on your breath, trying not to focus on any thought or concern.

Rest in this pose for up to 5 minutes. This position is meant to be comfortable, relaxing and de-stressing.


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