7 Feel-Good Stretches for a Busy Lifestyle

Feel-Good Stretches for a Busy Lifestyle

No longer just for the gym, you can reap the benefits of stretching throughout your entire day.

It’s not just about endurance and strength: being flexible can improve the quality of both your workouts and your daily life. “Changing your flexibility for good requires time, and lots of it,” says Terri Walsh, celebrity fitness trainer and designer of the A.R.T. Method. This means light pre-workout and more involved post-workout stretching sessions aren’t all there is to it — you also need to work stretching into your lifestyle. “It’s great when fitness can be worked into any busy day,” says certified fitness personal trainer Sarah Robichaud, who regularly appears on CBS’s The Saturday Early Show. Here’s how you can take your stretching routine out of the gym.

 

Best Desk Stretch: Neck Release

.Oxygen Magazine

 

Sitting on your chair, clasp your hands behind your back and pull your shoulders back and down. Gently let your head fall to one side. Take three deep breaths, then repeat on the other side. “This gentle stress reducer is great for combating the forward hunch we tend to have when staring at our computer screen,” says Robichaud. “It helps to release the tension in our shoulders, neck and jaw. It also promotes upright posture.”

 

The Pre-workout Stretch: “Cat and Cow”

.Oxygen Magazine

 

Our experts agree: pre-workout stretching should be approached with caution. Warming up for a few minutes first is key. “At the beginning of a workout, I’d recommend two to three minutes of stretching after about five minutes of a gentle warm-up,” says Walsh. Try jumping jacks, walking up hill or push-ups. Then, try the “cat and cow” stretch: get down on all fours, arms directly under your shoulders. Pull your abs in while exhaling, and slowly round your spine up while pulling your head in. Pause, then reverse the motion while inhaling, arching your back and lifting the chest and hips upward. Pause. Repeat five times.

 

Best Post-workout Stretch: Deep Buttocks Stretch

.Oxygen Magazine

 

Lie on the floor with your right foot flat on the ground and your knee bent. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Lift your right leg, reach through the legs, and pull the right knee towards your chest to stretch your left buttock. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat on your other side. The buttock muscles are the largest in the body, and therefore need a little more attention in the post-workout stretch, explains Walsh.

 

Best Morning Stretch: Knee Hug/Twist

.Oxygen Magazine

 

This stretch can be done lying in your bed. Breathing in and out slowly, place a pillow or blanket between your bent knees. Hug your knees into your chest and rock them over to one side. When your knees are over to one side, outstretch your arms. Hold for three breaths. Repeat on your other side.

 

Best Stretch For Energy: Seated Hamstring Stretch

.Oxygen Magazine

 

Sit with your right leg extended straight. Ensure your left leg is bent and the arch of your left foot is level with your right knee. Hinge forward from your hip while pressing your shoulders back and keeping your back straight (do not bend from the waist), and hold on to your right shin, ankle or foot. Hold for 15 seconds to two minutes. Repeat on your other side. This is a great stretch for energy because it allows your muscles and body to spring into action while properly preparing them for your workout.

 

Best Stretch For Stress Relief: Side Stretch

.Oxygen Magazine

 

From standing, take a deep breath in as you raise your arms out to the side and up towards the sky. Clasp your hands at the top. Lift through your waist and gently bend to one side. Take three deep breaths. Repeat on the other side. “This stretch incorporates breathing and movement, and can be used as a mini meditation,” says Robichaud.

 

Best Stretch Before Bed: The Warm Down

.Oxygen Magazine

 

Stand in an upright position, then gently and slowly roll down vertebrae by vertebrae towards your feet (your knees may bend). Hang upside down, allowing your arms to hang extended. Gently rock from side to side. “Envision all of the stress of the day rolling out of the top of your head,” suggests Robichaud. “After taking three breaths, slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae into an upright position and repeat.”

Written by OxygenMag for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

Featured image provided by bruce mars

Fuel Your Muscles with MariGold

Stretching is very important to keeping your muscles healthy, improving blood flow, and increasing flexibility and mobility. 

It’s also important to make sure you’re fueling your muscles with the proper nutrients so they stay strong.  A good source of protein can help to give your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue.

MariGold Whey Isolate Protein Powder is 100% pure and is derived from sweet Irish milk given from Truly Grass-Fed™ cows who spend 95% of their time roaming freely and feasting upon the delicious green grasses of the breathtaking Irish countryside.

Our Protein Powder has 21+ grams of protein per serving and is non-GMO, rBST-free, lactose-free, soy-free and gluten-free. It is also cold processed and micro filtered, leaving it UNDENATURED and incredibly creamy. Then it’s INSTANTIZED, with choline rich sunflower lecithin, so it can easily be mixed with water, or any of your favorite morning and afternoon smoothies or drinks for a great protein boost.

Our Whey Isolate Protein Powder comes in Unflavored, as well as two delicious flavors (Rich Chocolate Malt and Creamy Vanilla).  Our flavored protein powders also include L-Glutamine for increased muscle building and recovery, as well as healthy gut benefits!

Be sure to also check out our protein bars for an energy boost before or after a workout. They contain the same premium quality protein powder and are packed with 20+ grams of protein. They are very low sugar – most of our bars have 1g of sugar or less! We also include good-for-you fats like organic coconut oil and organic grass-fed ghee

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