National Stretching Day is December 11th; So, Let’s Stretch!

  • Stretching feels great and is really good for you, too.

Stretching day is the perfect day to stretch, along with all the other days! Did you know that stretching everyday will only help you with your daily activities and decrease your risk of injury.

If you sit a lot during the day…

If you sit all day, first of all, get up! Try to be up and moving around every 30 minutes to an hour, you’ll feel better and your body will thank you. Then, do the standing back stretch. Start with standing with your feet hip-width apart. Clasp your hands behind your low back. Move hands down and come into a slight back bend.

If you stand a lot during the day…

If you’re on your feet but in one place for most of the day, do the standing lunging calf stretch. It’s for the people who are standing all day, in one spot. Place both palms flat against the wall, step either foot back and bend your front knee, so that you’re in a lunge position. Keep your toes pointed forward and push the heel that’s back towards the ground. You will feel a nice, long stretch in your calf. Make sure to do both legs for this stretching and it will feel so good!

If you are always in motion…

If all you do is walk all day, then the kneeling hip and quad stretch is going to feel amazing. Just kneel on one foot and the other knee. (Hold onto something if you need help with balance.) Push your hips forward to stretch your hip. To stretch your quad, lean your body back and you will feel it.

If your low back hurts…

Back pain can come on for so many reasons and is the most reported pain according to patients. I wonder how many patients report stretching regularly? A knee-to-chest stretch feels great and will gently stretch out your lower back.  To do this stretch, lay down on the ground, and keep your left knee bent or extend it straight out along the floor. Pull your right knee into your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh or just above your shinbone. Lengthen your spine all the way down to your tailbone and don’t lift your hips. Make sure to do both legs!

If your forearm hurts…

Everything is connected and especially if you are typing away all day, your forearms are probably tight and your wrists are probably sore. If this is the case, be sure to massage the inside and the outside of your lower arm. Gently press your fingers into the skin in a back and forth motion, or honestly, whatever feels best. If you wrap your lower arm with your hand, you can massage both sides by lightly squeezing and massaging. Stretching this way is so beneficial and feels nice.

A great stretch for your wrist is if you outstretch your arm and hold your hand at a 90 degree angle with the fingers from your other hand. Palms up feels great but so does palms down.

If your shoulders are tight…

Check your posture. You can really do a number on your shoulders if you sit hunched all day and it can really hurt. To check your posture, make sure that you are sitting or standing tall and that your shoulders are back and your chest is out. Simply squeeze your shoulder blades together for a couple of seconds and then release. Do this 5-10 times as about every hour or so to check yourself.

If your hips hurt…

Butterfly stretching is perfect to help open up your hips and stretch your legs. Start by sitting with both of your legs bending and each of your feet touching in the middle. If you are tighter in the hips, be sure to place your feet further away from your body, along the floor to start. See how far down to the ground your legs can go and how close to your body you can get your feet.

The best thing about stretching is the more you do it, the easier it is and the better you get. For all stretches, hold for 20-30 seconds. Which one do you need to try?

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