Most people think of stretching as an activity you do right before you workout, play sports or dance. However, stretching can be considered a light form of exercise and helps you get your movement for the day.
As Saje Wellness Founders said, “the three pillars to health are sleep, eating well, drinking enough water, and moving.” They don’t say you need to hard core workout everyday but, to make sure you get light movement throughout the day. If you have the option to bike, walk or even stand, it is much better for your overall health.
So back to stretching. It is great because it improves flexibility, mobility, relieves stiffness and helps with muscle tension. If your joints crack during stretching, and it doesn’t hurt, but feels good, it means your body is releasing built up tension, and is relaxing. I have been dancing for over 15 years and stretching is one of the most important things to do before any kind of exercise, and just in general helps with personal fitness. I sometimes incorporate this routine into my day of wellness or my self-care Sunday routines!
Here is my personal favourite stretching routine that I follow to warm up for before dancing:
To start off I reach up with my arms to stretch out my whole body. After that I twist slowly side to side, and touch my hands to the floor. Once my hands are touching the floor I slowly move my feet shoulder width apart. This helps to deepen your hamstring stretch. Next, I bend my knees and then stretch then up about 5 times so I don’t lock up my knees. Some yoga poses I often incorporate into the stretching routine that are pictured below are pigeon pose, cobra, child’s pose, downward dog with leg extension on both sides and downward dog. After the slow flow of yoga stretches I sit down and bring my hands folded to centre and focus on my breath. This helps to end of the practice in a relaxing way.
We welcome you to share your thoughts about stretching and your personal routine if you have one in the comments below. We would love to start a conversation with you!
Peace and Love,