October 23, 2021

Posture Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Front Shoulder and Chest Posture Stretch!

Stretch Break: Stand up. Place both hands behind your head. Pull your shoulders down and back. Next, pull your elbows wide. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Now set your phone alarm to signal in 2 hours for your next Stretch Break!

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

At-the-Computer Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Stretch your Wrist Extensor Muscles!

Working on a computer all day can leave the muscles of your hands and forearms overworked, tight and sore. Add in a hunched-forward shoulder posture and long hours without a break, and the stress on your wrist extensor muscles only increases. Perform this easy at-your-computer stretch during the day to give your hands a mini-break.

Extend your right arm forward so it is parallel to the floor, with your palm facing down. Gentle curl your fingers in and down feeling a subtle stretch in the top of your forearm. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then release. Repeat with your left arm forward.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Ease-Tension Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Corner Stretch!

Stand facing a corner. Step forward with one foot and place your forearms on the wall, with your elbows slightly lower than shoulder level. Gently lean forward, feeling a stretch across your chest and front shoulders. Hold for ten to thirty seconds.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

End-of-Day Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Stretch!

Ease your sore muscles from sitting all day with this Bend-Forward stretch.

Here’s how to do it: Sit forward in your chair with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Place a rolled up towel or coat on your lap to act as a buffer from bending too far forward. Tuck your chin to your chest. Inhale and place your hands on your thighs. Exhale and walk your hands down your legs until you feel a gentle stretch. Inhale again. Exhale and slowly return to your seated upright position.

 

*Always consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Sore Feet?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Stretch!

If you’re on your feet all day, try this simple Calf Stretch to ease sore feet.

Use a step or a curb, or on any stable platform that is about two inches off the floor. Place your right foot flat on the step, hold on for balance. Place the ball of your left foot on the step with your heel hanging off. Slowly drop your left heel, feeling a gentle stretch in the left calf.  Hold for ten to thirty seconds. Release the stretch. Repeat with your left foot flat on the step and your right heel hanging off.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Is Stretching Important? By Sarah Johnson

Is stretching important in fitness?

There has been some recent controversy as to whether stretching is important: Does it actually prevent injury? Should you stretch before or after a workout? Why should I stretch at all? Whatever you may have heard, I’d like to share my reasons why I believe stretching has its place in a fitness program.

 

• It helps establish your intentions. Take a few minutes after your warm-up to stretch. Remind yourself why you are doing this; what your goals are and how is this activity going to help you get there.

• It lets you think about your plan. When you set out for a run, walk, hike or any other activity, beginning with a light warm-up and stretch gives you a few extra minutes to think about your route, to clear your head or plan for any obstacles you may encounter.

• Stretching helps you focus. Instead of jumping right into the workout without thinking, you can spend a few quiet minutes lightly stretching, making sure your mind is in the present without any distractions. No matter what your belief is about stretching preventing injury, an unfocused & distracted person plus exercise can be a recipe for an injury!

• It also helps you wind down. After a grueling workout or long training session, five minutes spent relaxing your mind and loosening your muscles is the best way to think about your accomplishment!

By the way, I do believe stretching is most successful when done after your body and muscles are warmed up, when they are most loose and pliable. And as far as if it’s even worth doing (as some have argued), if it feels good and you have the time for it, I say ‘Why not!?’

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

7 Traffic Stress-Busters

Does driving have you stressed and tense? Your muscles will benefit from easy stretching once you reach your destination. Try the following upper body stretches to relieve stress muscle tension caused by driving long distance. The following exercises may be done standing or seated. Make sure you’re breathing comfortably through each stretch. For additional stress reduction, pair each move with an inhale and exhale. Stretch to mild tension, not pain. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise.

 

1. Lace your fingers behind your body. Slowly extend your elbows, and pull your shoulders down and back. Pull your shoulder blades together.

2. Reach both arms straight up overhead. Keeping your weight centered, slowly reach to your right, then your left.

3. Lace your fingers behind your head and pull your shoulders down and back. Pull your elbows wide.

4. Pull your shoulders up toward your ears. Pull your shoulders down and back.

5. Pull your shoulders down, tilt your head to your right side letting your ear fall toward your shoulder. Repeat tilting your head toward your left shoulder.

6. Pull your shoulders down, rotate your chin toward your right shoulder, then your left.

7. Pull your shoulders down. Keeping your upper back straight, drop your chin to your chest.

Repeat stretches as needed.

 

5 Stretches to Transition from Work-Time to Relaxation-Time

Perform these easy stretches to relieve work-day stress and ease your body (and mind) into relaxation of evening-time. The following stretches are for those without injury. Please consult your physician before beginning this or any exercise program.

Single Knee to Chest Stretch. Lie on your back. Inhale; Extend both legs straight on the floor. Exhale; Pull your right knee in toward your chest. Inhale;Release your right leg. Exhale; Pull your left knee into your chest. Release your left knee back to the floor. 

Hamstring Stretch. Lie on your back. Inhale; Extend your right leg straight up, perpendicular to the floor. Exhale; Hold ten to twenty seconds. Change leg position; extend your left leg straight up, perpendicular to the floor and hold.

Figure 4 Stretch. Lie on your back. Inhale; Cross your right ankle onto your left thigh, pull both legs off the floor and in toward your chest. Exhale; Hold ten to twenty seconds. Change leg position; place your left ankle on your right thigh, pull both legs in toward your chest.

Cat-back Stretch. Begin on your hands and knees on the floor. Inhale; Round your back up. Exhale; Arch your back.

Standing lunge stretch. Standing, inhale and step your right foot back about three feet. Keep both feet flat on the floor and pointing forward. Exhale; Bend your left knee and hold ten seconds. Change leg positions; step back with your left foot back about three feet, keeping both feet flat and pointing forward, bend your right knee and hold ten seconds.