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While you may have heard about the importance of stretching and flexibility, did you know that putting this practice into action will benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally too? Most days, we spend countless hours at work sitting at a desk or at home watching TV on the couch, letting our bodies sit idle. Taking a break from idle movements to stretch increases the flow of blood and oxygen, and also releases endorphins, which helps motivate us and reduces anxiety.

Stretching and moving our bodies daily is vital to our health. Trying new exercises can be exciting, and low-impact stretching exercises can increase the body’s range of motion, alleviate pain and stress, and keep muscles strong. Learn about the importance of stretching and try these top five stretching exercises today and every day.

The Importance of Stretching

Stretching offers many benefits, from strengthening muscles to helping maintain flexibility and range of motion as we age. Keeping our muscles loose can help improve posture and support overextended muscles from lifting heavy items.  Stretching can also aid in preventing aches, pain, stiff joints, or tight muscles.

If you’ve had a stressful day at the office or at home, you may carry tension and tightness in your body without even recognizing it! Taking a few minutes to complete the five stretching exercises below can help reset your mood by relaxing your muscles, reducing stress and anxiety, and calming your mind.

The Five Best Stretching Exercises

These five exercises are for anyone looking to reap the benefits of stretching. Try these exercises to help increase your flexibility, reduce muscular tension, improve balance and postural awareness, and more.

  • Hamstring Stretch – While seated on the ground, stretch both legs out straight in front of you. Point your toes upward, flex your quads, and reach forward, grabbing your foot, ankle, shin, or whatever is most comfortable. Breath through the stretch.
  • Butterfly Stretch – While seated on the ground, bend your legs and touch the soles of your feet together, pulling your touching feet inward to your body (resembling the shape of a butterfly).If flexibility allows, rest elbows on the inner portion of your knees to deepen the stretch.
  • Quad Stretch – While lying face down on the ground, bend one leg behind you and hold your foot with both hands to stretch your quad. Repeat with the other leg. This same exercise can also be done while standing up.
  • Shoulder Stretch – While standing up, reach your left arm across your body, . Wrap your right arm over your left arm and pull towards your chest to deepen the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
  • Triceps Stretch – While standing, raise your left arm up by your ear, then bend your arm behind your head. Using your right hand, pull your left elbow to the right to deepen the stretch.  Repeat on the other side.

Try A Class Today

Want to focus more on stretching and strengthening your muscles? Experience a yoga or barre class at a nearby acac Fitness & Wellness location. Choose from a wide range of yoga, pilates, and barre classes designed to flex you physically and stimulate you mentally. Whether you want to work up a sweat or relax and stretch, acac Fitness & Wellness has a class for you. Check out the class options and schedule to book your next exercise class!

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