Since my first physical education class in elementary school, I have heard many good things about muscle stretching exercises, but I did not take them seriously back then. When I turned 30, I started to feel pain in my back from time to time. No medication I was taking helped me, so I had to find other solutions for this problem. That was when I decided to conduct an experiment and incorporate stretching into my daily routine. I did this routine for 10 minutes a day for a month and now I can see some unexpected changes in my body.
My stretching routine:
- Bend your head toward the knee: Sit on the floor with your right leg extended to one side, your left knee bent and the sole of your left foot near the inner right thigh. Bend to your right side and take your right foot with both hands. Hold for 60 seconds, then change sides.
- Frog Pose: With your feet on the floor under your buttocks and your knees apart, lift your buttocks and walk with your hands forward along the floor as much as you can. Allow your legs to separate until you feel a stretch in your thighs. Hold this pose for 2 minutes.
- Cobra Pose: Lie on your stomach, stretch your legs back and place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Lift your upper body off the floor by straightening your elbows. Hold this position for 2 minutes.
- Downward facing dog position: Place your hands and feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Keeping your arms and legs straight, hold this position for about 2 minutes.
- Spin sitting spine: Sit on the floor and extend both legs in front of you. Bend your left knee and place your right elbow on it. Hold the position for about 60 seconds, then change sides and repeat the movement.
The results I obtained:
8. I started to sleep better
Back pain was not my only problem before the experiment. I also had some trouble sleeping quite annoying. Insomnia, exhaustion upon waking; These words were well known to me. But, I didn’t expect that stretching could help me rest well at night.
It turns out that stretching before bedtime can relieve muscle tension and prevent cramps that interrupt sleep. When there is nothing to bother you at night, the quality of your sleep improves and you feel more rested in the morning. So no more chamomile tea for me, stretching is the best remedy!
7. Finally, I feel my own body
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Of course, stretching is the perfect way to get a great body. But that is not the point here. For me, stretching exercises have become a way to recover my body.
When you sit at the desk all day, you don’t feel your legs on the way home from work. It was like that for me. But, when I started this routine, I realized that my body needed my attention more than I thought. This better body awareness that developed as a result of stretching allowed me to continue stretching more intelligently, working on those muscles that were weaker and needed to tone.
6. I feel less inactive
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Testuji nový model Salming Greyhound. Nevím jak to ti kluci švédský udělali, ale spojili téměř nemožné. Běhačky jsou extrémně pohodlné díky tlumení, ale zároveň nečekaně rychlé 🏃🏼♀️👍🏻 …jsou to vlasy nebo les, je to les a nebo vlasy? #ginger #gingerpower #running #laufen #fitfam #trainingday #freeleticsfemme #fitaddict #train #fitchick #freeathlete #outside #salminggreyhound #runeasy #nononsense #salmingambassador #runswedish #garminrunning #running #instarunner #motivation #runtourvodici #runtour2019 @salming_cz @salmingconceptstorepraha
I used to have trouble keeping myself awake during my long and arduous workday. Around mid-afternoon, I felt so slow and inactive that all I could do was try to think of a place where I could take a safe nap while my boss was busy with other things.
Stretching directly at my desk for 10 minutes a day helped me to significantly increase my energy level. I no longer feel inactive, on the contrary, my productivity at work improved and I have even adopted the habit of walking during my lunch hour. Goodbye to my midday fatigue!
5. My back pain is gone
The constant pain in my back is what made me start this experiment. I had always heard that stretching helps to heal and prevent lower back pain by strengthening muscles and reducing the risk of muscle tension. Surprisingly, this was true.
As someone who has to be seated most of the time, who does not have time to carry out an exercise routine every day, I had to choose something that could reduce stiffness in my back and restore mobility to my buttock muscles without taking too much weather. It turned out that stretching was a great choice.
After a month of doing stretching exercises, I finally feel relieved, I no longer have pain. On top of that, my muscles have become stronger and there are no more knots in my shoulders.
4. My blood tests have improved
Some studies show that stretching exercises also help lower cholesterol and keep glucose levels controlled by preventing hardening of the arteries and increasing blood flow in all your internal organs. So I also decided to prove this point.
Before the experiment, I didn’t care about my health. The lack of regular exercise, poor eating habits, and sedentary lifestyle contributed to my high cholesterol and sugar levels. However, stretching routinely helped me a lot: the results of my blood tests returned to normal.
3. My coordination has improved
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I just can’t help myself #balancingononeleg 😃😆💪🏼. This time in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. – – – – – #thursdaythrowback #balanceeveryday #standononeleg #practisewhatyoupreach #seasidefun #cowes #cowesweek #wobblylegs #balancedliving #stabilityfitness #timeoff #familytrips #boatlife #sailinglife #pilatesismagic #pilatesstudio #pilatessheffield #joinus #friendlyclass
” Stretching can prevent muscle tension and make your body feel more balanced again, ” that’s what I read a month ago. Well, I can’t say that I had some coordination problems in the past: if you sit still in a chair for a day, you don’t need to have a perfect sense of balance, right?
However, I felt that something was wrong when I tried to ride a bike a few years ago. I just couldn’t keep my balance and started to learn from here to there, again and again. Today, I can’t understand how such an easy task was so difficult for me, but I’m proud to say that I finally showed gravity who’s boss!
2. I feel less stress
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When you are experiencing stress, your muscles are very likely to be tense. This is called psychosomatic. In theory, this sounds quite sensible, but I would never have thought that stretching works better than any sedative.
I have already mentioned that my productivity at work has improved. But it not only happened due to the increase in energy. Stretching has also helped me calm my mind and restore my sense of well-being. Being calm in mind has helped me feel relaxed and work with a clearer mind, without any negative or annoying thoughts
1. I don’t feel cold all the time
You probably know that stretching increases the blood supply to muscle tissue. However, I had no idea that this benefit referred not only to my muscles but also to all my internal organs and body parts.
Without moving too much, I used to always feel cold, especially in the hands and feet. What I did to warm them didn’t work in the long term since my hands froze again after a few minutes of exercise.
A stretching routine has allowed me to improve the transport of oxygen as well as the blood which is rich in nutrients throughout the body. Now, due to better circulation, my body maintains a normal temperature in all its parts in a natural way.
How often do you stretch your muscles? Do stretching exercises help you feel better? Share your experience in the comments below!