Everyone is busy these days – working parents and stay-at-home parents both face the challenges of trying to balance everyone’s schedules and keep things as smooth as possible. A little bit of stress is a good thing – people need that to function and survive. When that stress starts getting overwhelming, though, it becomes more of a problem in day-to-day life. Exercise is a great way to relieve some of that stress, but what happens when you don’t have the time you would like to spend on exercise? It is easy to say that everyone has a spare 5 or 10 minutes during the day to take a break, but when you’re actually in the middle of it, it is not always as simple as it sounds. If you do a little bit of exercise during the day, how do you have time to change clothes or take a shower if you sweat? Here’s a solution – try stretching instead. Stretching can help tone your muscles by keeping them long, lean, and flexible for those more intense workouts. It also can help with stress relief and focus when you stretch out the tension in your neck, back and shoulders. Here are a few tips on how to make this work well for you….
- When you stretch, don’t push yourself too hard. It should feel like you are pulling a little further than you normally would, but it should NEVER hurt! If you are new to stretching, start off very slowly. You will get the same benefits as someone who has been stretching for years because you want to release the tightness in the muscles, however far you have to go to do it.
- As you hold a stretch, don’t bounce to try to get a little further. That can cause extra strain on the muscles that could do more harm than good. Instead, try to relax and breathe as you hold a stretch. You will likely find that the longer you hold and the more often you stretch, the easier it will be and the better it wil feel. Using your own body weight as a natural force, rather than tightening other muscles to make yourself go further, is a more relaxing way to get in a good stretch.
- You don’t have to be in exercise gear or in a more formal work-out environment to do a quick stretch and relax a little. This YouTube video shows some great activities that you can do in your cubicle when you need a bit more focus, movement, and a lot less stress!
- With any new activities, talk to your doctor to see if there are specific recommendations of things to try on your own. Your doctor can give you advice based on your specific needs, and you don’t want to overdo it on your first try.
Take some time for yourself to do a little bit of stretching, Charlotte! You all work hard here in the Queen City, both inside and outside of the home, and you need to be comfortable and ready for whatever life throws your way!!
Have any questions or comments? How about ideas for things you would like to see? Follow me on Twitter @jmhexaminer, email me at [email protected], or leave me a comment below. Thanks for checking in, Charlotte!