It’s 2 p.m. on a Tuesday and your butt’s asleep. You’ve been at it since dawn, writing those emails, reviewing those slides and you can’t remember the last time you stood up, let alone exercised or broke a sweat. You look outside, eager to get moving with a walk around the block when you notice it’s raining. Or snowing. Or hailing if you’re anywhere north of Tulsa.
As the seasons change, so do our daily routines. For many of us stuck at home or working long hours during this new normal, walks have become a lifeline. A chance to leave our desks, stretch our legs and find new sources of energy. But as the cooler temps roll in, our walks will inevitably dwindle. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get that same restorative boost without breaking out your parka. Just stand up, find some space and stretch.
Though we often associate stretching with cooling down, loosening up or relaxation, there are a number of easy stretches designed to invigorate and revive our tired minds and bodies. “Stretching prevents you from getting aches, pains and from becoming stiff,” the team at StretchIt tells us, a fitness app that offers virtual stretching and flexibility classes (a favorite here at PureWow). “In a state of stiffness, you tend to feel lethargic. When you stretch, you get your blood circulating and your muscle tissues moving. Wherever there’s heat, there’s energy,” and wherever there’s increased blood flow, there’s increased oxygen. “That translates into feeling less sluggish and more activated. Between your brain stimulation and the physical movement, stretching will help you feel more energized.”
To help you get started, here are ten energizing stretches to add to your current routine. Don’t have a routine? Don’t sweat it. “Once you begin stretching throughout the day you’ll realize you don’t necessarily need to dedicate an hour at a time to do it,” they explain. “Whenever you find pockets of time here and there, plug in a quick minute to get up and stretch. These small windows will help you get into the habit of stretching. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where your body craves it.” Now, who’s ready for some chest openers?