We all know that exercise is important, but often we don't know how to fit it into our busy days. Stretching throughout the day can be not only a great way to support an exercise program, but also a great way to relieve stress. These are some great stretches that can be done right at your desk and in just a matter of minutes.
Hip Flexor - sitting causes our hip flexors to get tight. While standing, take the right leg back as though you're going to do a lunge. Squeeze the glutes as you bend the knees, lowering down until you feel a stretch in the front of the right hip. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Seated Hip - While seated, cross the left ankle over the right knee and sit up straight. Gently lean forward, keeping the back straight and reaching forward until you feel a stretch in the left glute and hip. For a deeper stretch you can press down on the left knee. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Upper Back Stretch - sitting up straight, stretch your arms straight out and rotate your hands with palms facing away from each other. Cross the arms so that your palms are pressed together, contract the abs and round your back, as if you are curving around an imaginary ball. Hold for 10-30 seconds. If twisting the arms doesn't feel good, simply lace the fingers together.
Spinal Twist - will help gently work out some tension. Again in the seated position with the feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently twist the torso towards the right, using your hands to help deepen the stretch, by putting them on the right leg. Twist only as far as is comfortable, while keeping your back straight and hips forward. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Chest Stretch - stretches the muscles of upper back, neck and chest. Lace your fingers together behind your head, bringing your elbows back as far as possible. Inhale deeply and lean back until you feel your muscles stretching. Hold for 20 seconds.
Back Scratch - is for stretching the back of your arm. Reach behind your head andplace your hand on your upper back, keeping your arm close to your ear. Gently hold your elbow with your opposite hand. Pull your elbow toward the back of your head and reach your hand toward the middle of your back until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 15 seconds.
Take a few minutes each day thank your body for the work that it does for you with these stretches and more. Your body will thank you not only now, but also in the future.