Stretching

Muscles are made for movement.  Sitting in the same position for extended periods of time, causes our muscles to tighten.  Imagine yourself, at work, sitting at a desk for an extended period of time.  You do not recognize the gradual changes that occur until you decide to stand.  When you stand, you might feel pain in your joints, tightness in your muscles, or a slight pull.  You may have difficulty walking initially.  You find yourself stretching the tightened muscles until you are able to move somewhat normally.

I recommend that my clients make a habit of stretching, beginning with a morning stretch.   Stretching is great for keeping our joints well-oiled and our muscles elongated.  Stretching also helps release muscle tension caused by unrelieved stress.  I created a morning stretching routine that is done before getting out of bed.

While lying flat on your back in bed:

1.      Extend and flex your fingers and toes several times.  Wiggle them to loosen them further.

2.      Rotate your wrists and ankles in circles at least three times in each direction.

3.      Raise your arms above your head.  Stretch as if trying to touch opposite walls with your hands and feet.

4.      Cross your right arm over your chest. Using the opposite hand, gently press your upper arm rotating your shoulder forward.  Repeat this stretch using your left arm.

5.      Bring your knees to your chest and hug them.

6.      Straighten your legs, feet towards the ceiling.  Keeping your legs straight, gently pull them as close to your body as possible. 

7.      Repeat step three.

After the first full body stretch, you should feel warm all over.  All stretches should be done slowly and gently.  You may do variations of these stretching movements throughout the day to release tension and to relax.  DO NOT PULL, TUG OR FORCE ANY MOVEMENT.  Also check with your physician before beginning any exercise or relaxation routine. 

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