- Health & Wellness
Stretch To Fight The Blues Away
Stretching exercises that will work like magic to get you moving every morning and relax your nerves at night
New activities and new challenges engage the muscles differently. Your daily chores can leave you exhausted, with a lingering feeling of fatigue and discomfort.
To beat that, it’s best to stretch your body before getting out of bed and going to bed. These stretching exercises are simple, doable and work like magic to get your body moving each morning and relaxing your muscles every night. The whole sequence should not take you more than 15 minutes. Try and do all the exercises without a pillow under your head.
Stretches to do before getting out of bed
1. As you open your eyes, move the pupils to the right and left at a slow pace. Repeat this exercise 8 times.
2. While you lie down, stretch both the arms behind your head and stretch your upper body. At the same time, point the toes away from you and stretch your lower body. The spine will arch and the chin should lift slightly. Hold this posture for a minute and repeat it twice. Hold this position, point and flex the ankles 10 times. You can let your arms relax by your side, while you do this move.
3. As you lie down, bend both the knees and place the feet parallel to each other, shoulder-width apart. Hold one knee with both hands and pull it towards your chest. Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat it with the other knee. Now, hold both the knees with your hands and pull them towards your chest. This exercise nicely gives your back a stretch.
4. Bending the knees, feet flat on the bed, legs shoulder-width apart, arms stretched to the sides, drop your knees to the right, hold it for 20 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
5. Turn on your side and sit up on the edge of the bed. Sit on the bed, placing both your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your toes pointed towards you, lift the leg up to straighten the knee and hold for five seconds. Bring your feet down. Now repeat on the other side.
Stretches to do before going to bed
You will need a belt or a long scarf to help you with these stretches.
1. Lie down on the bed with your face up. Bend both knees with feet flat on the bed, shoulder-width apart. Place the belt under the sole of the right foot and straighten the knee as much as you can. Feel the stretch in the posterior leg muscles. The toes should be pointed towards you. This will also stretch the calf. Hold the position for 30 seconds on each side.
2. Stay in the same position. Hold the belt in your left hand and move the right leg across your body to the left. You will feel the stretch in the outer thigh area, right up to the hip. Return to the centre and stretch your to the right to feel the stretch in the inner thighs. Repeat all the three positions with the other leg. Each stretch should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of a minute.
3. Lie down flat without a pillow. Hug both knees to the chest and rock sideways 10 times.
Follow this space through the week for more such fitness tips.
Nisha Varma is an American College of Sports Medicine-certified exercise physiologist based in Pune.
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