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8 Stretches That Will Improve Your Health

downward dog stretching pose in yoga studio

Doesn’t it always feel good to stretch? Maybe after a nap or sitting too long? Stretching is one of those things that feels good and is good for you. In fact, you might be surprised to learn the health benefits of stretching.


The Benefits of Stretching Every Day

Stretching the muscles in your body helps keep them flexible, strong, and healthy. That’s key to keeping yourself mobile. It is important to stretch your legs and hips daily. You want to keep your hamstrings, calf muscles, quadriceps, and hip flexors loose. That makes it easier to sit down, stand up and walk. Stretch your neck, back, and shoulders, as well. Try to do this three or four times each week.


1. Downward Dog

This stretches your shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and the arches of your feet. You’ll also increase blood flow to your brain because your heart is over your head. The downward dog can also increase strength in your upper back and shoulders.


2. Figure Four Stretch

This is a great stretch for your hips. It is a good warm-up stretch and it’s also good to do after a workout. The figure four stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility in your hips, your glutes, and your piriformis. The piriformis is a small muscle that can become inflamed when your hips are tight.


3. Oblique Stretches

We sit when we work, we sit in the car, we sit when we eat. We tend to sit too much. All that sitting can tighten up your obliques, which are located on the sides and front of your abdomen. Tight obliques can impact your posture. You need to stretch your obliques to help them recover from all that sitting.


4. Child’s Pose

This is a stretch to use when you need a break. It’s a simple stretch that also opens your shoulders.


5. Yogaplex

Some trainers and physical therapists call yogaplex the best range of motion exercise available. This exercise is designed to maintain and increase overall joint mobility. It allows you to work on your ankles, hips, chest, and shoulders in one exercise.


6. Hamstring Stretch

Hamstrings tighten up because of that sitting issue mentioned above. Poor posture can cause this, as well. It is a good idea to learn hamstring stretches and do them two to three times each day.


7. Frog Pose

The frog pose opens your chest, which in turn provides your body with more oxygen. That’s great for your lungs. This stretch can be hard on your hips. Make sure you have proper instruction on this stretch.


8. Neck Stretch

Neck stretches help relieve both neck and back stiffness and pain. You can do them throughout the day but stop if they cause you pain. That crunching sound? That’s likely little gas bubbles popping when you move your neck.


Diamond Physicians

Whether you’re in good health or have some problems, it’s always a great idea to have someone show you the right way to do these stretches and improve your overall health. Contact Diamond Physicians for an appointment and learn how stretching can improve your health.