Consistent stretching is one of the best things you can do for improved mobility throughout your entire lifespan. In fact, stretching 10 minutes a day can help you feel better both immediately and on a regular basis.
Stretching 10 Minutes a Day: Routine
This routine is simple to do, takes only 10 minutes to complete, and can be done whenever you need to.
1. Side Bend
Sit on the floor with one leg extended straight out to the side, as far to the side as you can put it. Bend from your side towards that foot, gently and slowly. Do your best to grab your foot with both hands, if you can’t just bend as far as you can with your hands overhead.
Hold for 1 minute on each side.
Lie down on the floor on your stomach. Place your hands flat on the ground underneath your shoulders. Straighten your arms and slowly push your upper body off of the ground.
Hold this position for two minutes.
3. Downward Facing Dog
Start on your hands and knees, with each directly below your shoulders and hips, respectively. Raise your hips into the air creating a v-shape with your body. Keep your weight evenly dispersed between your feet and hands. As best you can, keep your heels on the ground.
Hold for 2 minutes.
With your hands and knees on the floor, slowly inch your knees out wider than your hips, as far as you are comfortable. Slowly walk your hands out ahead of you, gently pressing your crotch towards the floor. Go as far as you can to feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.
Hold for two minutes.
5. Seated Spinal Twist
Sit on your bum with your back straight and your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Bend one knee and place it on the outside of the opposite leg. Keeping your back straight, slowly twist your body towards that knee. You can:
- Hug your knee
- Place your opposite elbow on the outside of the bent knee
Keep your core engaged and breath, twisting gently more each time you exhale. Hold this for two minutes.
Why Stretching 10 Minutes a Day Is So Important
Even if you aren’t overly active, not stretching regularly puts your body at risk for injury, pain, and dysfunction. Stretching 10 minutes a day is not only for athletes, it is important for everyone to do no matter their age, activity level, and career. (1)
“A lot of people don’t understand that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily,” says David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. (1)
Stretching benefits everyone, in more ways than you probably realized.
1. Flexibility and Mobility
Flexible muscles are stronger and healthier muscles. You will also have an increased range of motion through your joints, which will improve your quality of life as you get older. (1) Increased flexibility (2, 4):
- Improves athletic performance
- Decreases risk for injury in athletics and daily life
- Allows your muscles to work more effectively
Even if you aren’t a highly active person, having flexible muscles will prevent you from getting seriously hurt the next time you slip on a patch of ice or your friend convinces you to do a random spin class. (3)
Stretching 10 minutes a day is one of the most effective ways to improve your posture. Not only will this help you to avoid back pain and other chronic pains, but having good posture helps you to appear more confident. Proper posture gives you a more powerful and open presence in every room you walk into. (1)
3. Injury Prevention
Though already mentioned above, this is one worth mentioning again. The more mobile and flexible you are in your joints and muscles, the less likely small or large movements will be to cause you injury. This becomes increasingly important as we age. (1, 2, 3)
4. Improved circulation and nutrient status
Stretching improves blood circulation to your muscles and throughout your body. This is important for many reasons, however, what many of us don’t realize is how important this is for nutrient transfer throughout our bodies. (2)
The nutrients we consume are transported throughout our bodies via our blood. The better your circulation, the more efficiently those nutrients will reach the places that they are needed the most. (2)
5. Reduced stress
Taking time, even just 10 minutes, relaxes both your mind and your body. Ridding your body of tension and taking time to yourself decreases stress and allows you to center your mind so that you can be more calm, steady, and focused throughout your day. (2, 3)
6. Increased energy
Finally, thanks to that increased circulation and nutrient transfer, you will feel more energetic. When your body is less tense and things are flowing well, you will feel better and have more energy for your busy day. (2)
Stretch 10 Minutes a Day, Do A Body Good
Stretching 10 minutes a day is not a huge time commitment, especially considering the health benefits you will get from it. Whether you need to wake up 10 minutes earlier or be 10 minutes quicker at lunch so you have time for this routine, it is well worth the effort. Start stretching 10 minutes a day and watch how quickly your health will improve.
Keep Reading: 10 Stretches to Relax Your Spine After a Hard Day
The post I’ve Been Stretching 10 Minutes a Day for 30 Days, and Here’s What’s Changed appeared first on The Hearty Soul.