Stretching is one of the most healthy little habits ever. We do it subconsciously, after sleeping, during exam or even in the office. But having a healthy stretching habit especially in the morning, while you wait for your morning coffee to get colder.
Michael Olson, a professor of sport science at the Huntingdon College in Montgomery, when asked about the purpose of stretching , claimed the following:
“ The collagenous fibers that make up the elastic tendons (that are what we are stretching, primarily when we stretch) don’t regenerate as efficiently and in lesser amount as we age. So, we are stretching older tendinous fibers which are stiffer, less pliable, and less hydrated compared to newer tendinous fibers.”
So, stretching even 10 minutes per day can be so much beneficial for your further body development, as well as your momentary state of mind and being.
Here are just some of the benefits from developing a daily stretching habit:
- You’ll be less likely to trip and fall – you will have more balance and control over your body, controlling your muscles at every moment.
- Your back pain will start to go away – the millions of little muscles and joints that are aligned next to our spine would start getting more firm and strong, thus keeping your body standing with less effort than usual and less pain because they would have enough strength.
- You’ll be able to move around and do sudden movements with less effort
- It’ll be less likely for you to injure yourself
- Stretching lowers the blood sugar level – the results of a study made back in the 2011 showed that “adults who had type 2 diabetes or were prediabetic found that those who stretched for 40 minutes after drinking a sugary beverage had lower blood sugar levels than those who did “mock stretching”
- You’ll be able to sleep better and get rid of that insomnia
- You’ll be in a better mood than ever
- You’ll improve your cardiovascular system – because stretching “moves the blood in your veins”, the blood will circulate faster and would get to every part of your body, even in the morning
- You won’t feel the “cramps” in your legs, feet and fingers – due to the improve of blood flow
- You won’t be as stressed as before – since your muscles wouldn’t be as tensed as before
Now that we’ve mentioned the benefits of everyday stretching, let me offer a routine I do daily for 10 minutes. Here are 5 beneficial exercises to do in the morning, each for about 2 minutes.
- Chest opener – stand in a corner of the room, faced with your face towards the corner. Place each hand on the different side of the corner, opening it like a butterfly, with your elbows and hand touching the wall. Now push yourself off the fall, stretching the tense part between your shoulders on the back
- Head to knee bend -- Sit on the floor and extend your right leg on the side. Bent your left knee inwards and place your left foot on your right thigh. Now, you bend your whole body to the right side and try catching your foot with both hands, in that way with your left arm above your head. The stretch is perfect and stretches the whole side.
- Glute bridge – lay down on the floor, with your face up the wall. Place both your hands straight down the line of your body. Push the lower part of your body, from the buttock down upwards, standing with your feet and your knees bent.
- Downward facing dog -- This is an actual yoga pose. You start standing, than move your arms down and forward, standing with your buttocks in the air. Keeping your arms and legs straight, hold the pose for about 2 minutes.
- Pancake stretch -- Sit on the ground with your legs straight, making the letter “V”. than move forward, reaching your torso towards your toes, thus getting your body as close to the ground as possible. Hold it for bout 2 minutes, making slit movements trying to get even more forward.
Stretching should never be forced. You should be able to relax into a stretch. If you’re in pain, it must mean that you’re doing it wrong.