Hi again, it’s now on to Day Two of our Health and Beauty week. Today we are looking at our flexibility, and doing some stretches.
There seems to be quite a lot of emphasis on exercise for weight loss or getting a six pack, but it’s good to remember that fitness also includes important things like stamina, balance and flexibility.
So let’s pick two or three stretches, and gently try to work on our flexibility. It’s important to avoid rushing stretches, so maybe don’t listen to loud or fast music while you’re doing them, and go at your own pace. Go slowly, and avoid locking your joints, trying to do too much too soon, or forcing your muscles and tendons. Don’t rock at the end of a stretch, or put a bounce into the arm movements if you’re doing something like touching your toes.
Ease into the movements, and try some repetitions of these movements:
- Turn your head slowly from left to right
- Put your chin to your chest and look back up
- Look up towards the ceiling, then look back
- Raise your shoulders in a shrugging motion
- Open your arms wide, then ake them back to the centre
- Raise your arms from their sides
- Stretch your arms behind your back
- Reach up high over your head, stretching your back and arms up as much as you can
- Roll your spine down slowly and try to touch your toes
- Sit down and put your feet out together in front of you, try to touch your toes
- Sit down with feet out to the sides, try to touch each foot in turn
- Stand in a lunge position to stretch the back of the calf muscle on the back leg
- Stand on one leg, and gently pull a foot back behind you to stretch the front of the thigh
There are loads of other stretching exercises, so look out for yoga stretches, pilates stretches or warm up or warm down exercises.
If you can’t touch your toes today, by the way, don’t get too worried. The key is to try, and to start going through the first part of the range of movement. A little more stretching a few times a week for a month or so could make a big difference to your flexibility, as long as you’re reasonably healthy.
Are you feeling flexible today? Give it a go!