THE IMPORTANCE OF STRETCHING
When you think of stretching, you may imagine a dancer stretching before a performance or an athlete getting ready for a big race. But stretching is something we should all be doing, every day. It helps to keep our muscles flexible and healthy and can help to prevent aches and pains.
Ideally, daily stretching should be as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth. But few of us take the time to stretch our muscles. One of the places where stretching can be used to great effect is in the office. After many hours hunched behind a desk, stretching can help to relieve muscle stiffness and get your blood flowing.
IS IT GOOD TO STRETCH EVERY DAY?
Daily stretching is a great habit that offers many advantages. Stretching has cumulative effects – the more you stretch, the more flexible you will become, so stretching often improves the effects.
These are a few of the benefits of stretching every day.
Stretching can actually help reduce your stress. Tense muscles will feel more relaxed after a stretching session.
After sitting in the same position for a long period of time, perform a few simple stretches and you’ll immediately start benefitting from the results.
Stretching will help to improve your posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back will help keep your back aligned, and prevent hunching.
You’ll benefit from better circulation, because this excersise increases blood supply to your muscles.
Your brain will benefit from a good stretching session. Taking a break at work and focusing on your own
Stretching can also decreases your risk of low-back pain. By increasing your flexibility, you reduce pressure on your lumbar spine, which in turn reduces your risk of low-back pain.
STRETCHES FOR OFFICE WORKERS
If you’re looking for some quick office stretches that you can perform at your desk at work, try a few of these ideas.
STRETCHES FOR YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS
When we get tense, we often carry the tension in our neck and shoulders. These stretches will help relieve that tension.
The shoulder shrug relieves tension in your shoulders and neck. Start by raising your shoulders toward your ears and then relaxing them again.
The shoulder roll involves slowly raising your shoulders toward your ears and then rolling them backward in a circular motion five times.
The head side tilt will help relax your neck muscles. Gently tilt your head down towards one of your shoulders, hold for five seconds. For an extra stretch, place your hand on your opposite ear and gently push down.
STRETCHING YOUR HANDS AND FOREARMS
Stretch your wrist and arm by placing your elbows on your desk, and placing your palms together, lower your wrists toward the desk. Your elbows move outward, giving your forearm stretch.
To stretch your wrists and fingers, place one hand out in front of you, with your palm facing up. Use your other hand to bend your wrist down and give it a good stretch. Bend your wrist up by pushing your fingers back up towards your shoulders.
STRETCHING YOUR BACK
Interlace your fingers and lift your arms up above your head, keeping your elbows straight. To stretch your sides, lean over to the left and right.
To stretch your upper back, hold your right arm out in front of you and use the left hand to push your right elbow toward the left shoulder.
HOW DO YOU STRETCH SAFELY?
Only stretch until you start feeling mild discomfort. Don’t push yourself until your muscles hurt. Hold a sustained stretch for about 30 seconds before relaxing. Don’t bounce while stretching or try to hold your stretches for a very long time.
Stretching every day can offer a host of wonderful benefits. Start slow and take a few minutes to stretch every day. You’ll build up flexibility slowly and see more benefits as you improve. Simple stretches can be performed at your desk without any equipment, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.