07 Dec Stretching Your Way to More Energy
2020 has completely shifted our day to day routines, to say the least. Among the changes for many is working or schooling from home. Sitting for hours on end, it seems we yearn to get up and get moving to feel better. Maybe a stroll outside will do the trick. However, even the thought of changing from our comfy new work “uniform”, those nice soft sandals and sweatpants, into sneakers and a sweater, or more, to beat the outside elements just makes our chair that more comfy. Is there a way we can find that break without having to layer up? There is and it’s simpler than you could have imagined. Stand up, find a nice bit of space, and stretch your way to a boost of energy.
Many times in our fitness workouts we tend to connect the idea of stretching with either part of our warm-ups or cooldowns. But stretching can also be very beneficial since it can help prevent aches, pains, and rigidness in our bodies. The feeling of being lethargic can originate from stiffness in our muscles. However, stretching will start pumping blood through your veins and cause movement in your muscle tissue. As your blood begins to flow at a faster rate then your body will require more oxygen and thus you begin to feel more stimulated and moved to get active. All that combination can invigorate your mind and body with the end result being you are energized. Instead of letting your computer desk control you and your stamina, try out these simple stretches that will have those endorphins quickly flowing.
Scooping Side Stretch
- Begin standing with your legs wider than your hips. Place your right hand on your hip. Inhale and reach your left arm up and over towards the right, moving into a side bend.
- Exhale and bend the knees as your curl forward, following your arm across and over to the left. On your next inhale, repeat the side bend on the opposite side. Flow through this movement 4 to 6 times.
- Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale and open your arms to the sides, reaching them behind you while flexing your wrists. Look up to deepen the stretch.
- Exhale and reach your arms forward palms away from you with your fingertips facing each other. Round your upper spine, tuck your pelvis and scoop your belly up. Flow through this movement 4 to 6 times.
Neck Stretch with Shoulder Mobilization
- Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Grab your head with your right hand and pull it towards your shoulder.
- Keeping your shoulders down, inhale and lift your left arm up. On your exhale, slowly lower the arm back down. Flow through this movement 4 to 6 times and repeat on the other side.
- Begin standing with your legs wider than your hips. Slowly bring your right knee up and across your body to the left. Circle it back around to the right, letting it fall open and lower back down.
- Repeat this same movement with your left leg, bringing it up and across your body to the right, then circling it back around to the left and letting it fall open. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times while alternating sides.
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Exhale while bending your knees slightly and hinge forward at your hips until you reach a flat back.
- Inhale and reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times.
- Begin on your hands and knees with your fingertips pointing back towards the body.
- Exhale and move your hips back to sit on your heels as far as possible, keeping your palms on the ground. Inhale, release and return to the starting position. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times.
- Begin on your hands and knees with your fingertips pointing out away from the body and wrists directly below your shoulders. Inhale and circle your right arm forward, up and back, making sure your armpit faces out as you open your chest up.
- As your arm comes down, curl your chest in and exhale, returning to center. Repeat on the opposite side, moving slowly. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times while alternating sides.
Side Puppy Stretch
- Begin on your hands and knees with your fingertips pointing out away from the body. Exhale and reach your right arm forward with your thumb up while simultaneously pressing your armpit and head down towards the ground. Look to the right to deepen the stretch and make sure your hips stay directly over your knees
- Hold here for a breath or two (or as long as you need). Release and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, extending the left arm out. Flow through this movement 4 to 6 times while alternating sides.
Open Lunge with Thigh Push-Outs
- Beginning on your hands and knees, step your right foot forward outside your right hand with your toes facing out and drop your hips down toward the ground. Hold here, allowing the thigh to roll open. To deepen the stretch, press your right knee away with your right hand and twist.
- Return to all fours and step the left leg forward, following the same pattern. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times while alternating sides.
Foot to Thigh, Arch, and Curl
- Begin in a seated position with your right leg out and your left leg bent with the sole of your foot resting against your inner right thigh.
- Inhale and bend your right leg, keeping your foot flexed. Exhale and straighten your right leg while folding over your knee keeping the back straight and your gaze forward. Flow through this movement 6 to 8 times and then repeat on the opposite side.