5 Stretches That Feel Amazing After Spending All Day on Your Feet.

5 Stretches That Feel Amazing After Spending All Day on Your Feet.

After a full day of work, running errands, working out, and completing countless other tasks, some soothing stretching exercises are exactly what your body deserves. Whether it’s tension in your feet, tightness in your low back or hips, or just a general feeling of stiffness, stretching your hip flexors, shoulders, neck, and hips can be the perfect way to unwind. Stretching is one of the best (and most often overlooked) practices for your body because it will help improve flexibility, an essential component of physical fitness. Flexibility can help increase your range of motion, improve your posture, reduce your chance of injury, and yes, it can be mentally and physically relaxing. But whether you’re stretching for better flexibility or to relieve general tightness throughout your body, you don’t necessarily need to get into one position and then hold it for several minutes. I always recommend holding stretches for a few seconds at a time and doing them as a set of repetitions rather than one long hold. Muscles work in pairs throughout your body. One muscle (referred to as the agonist), contracts to facilitate a movement while the opposing muscle (called the antagonist), relaxes and allows that movement to happen. By applying this principle to active stretching, you can lengthen the muscle in a very safe and natural way. Static stretching—getting into one pose and holding still—can feel good for some, but for others it might be boring or even risky, especially if a person is forcing the stretch. And a sharp or uncomfortable feeling is the exact opposite of what we want when it comes to soothing stretching exercises. Likewise, there’s not necessarily one right way to breathe while stretching either. Play with breathing through your nose or mouth. While following a strict breathing pattern isn’t required, inhaling and exhaling comfortably should be a priority while stretching. You may find that you can relax deeper into a stretch upon an exhale. It is best if you can make a little time for stretching each day. Stretching should be as routine as brushing your teeth even if it is 5 or 10 minutes daily. If you “don’t use it, you lose it,” and that cliché is absolutely true when it comes to flexibility and keeping your muscles loose. So know that a simple stretching habit can be an excellent self-care practice. Of course, as with all exercise, consult your doctor first (particularly if you have chronic pain or a specific injury history), and always stop if you feel sharp pain. With that in mind, here are a few stretches that are almost guaranteed to help ease you into a calm and relaxed evening.

All the best :)

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