While the world is taking a break and travellers homebound, we find ourselves spending a lot more screen time for work and play, and maybe taking an extra ten minutes, or let’s be honest – few hours at times, on the couch. And so, our bodies react with neck and back pains too early for our age. Staying seated for a long period of time whether it’s by your desk, in front of the TV, or even on the plane when we can start travelling again, contributes to the stiffness in our lower backs and annoying aches in our hips. Hunching over our smart devices isn’t helping our necks and upper back either.
Stretching routinely during the day is a great way to elevate flexibility, blood circulation, posture health and reduce those aches. Keep healthy and start maintaining your fitness with these easy stretches:
Side Neck Stretches
While sitting up straight, use your right hand to gently guide your right ear to your right shoulder as your feel the left side of your neck stretch. Hold the stretch for about 10-20 seconds and gently release and bring the head back up. Do this 3 times for each side.
While sitting up tall, bring both palms together behind you and interlock fingers. Straighten your elbows as much as you can feel the stretch in your shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds and gently release by slowly bending your elbows. Repeat 3-5 times.
Cross your legs and bring your left ankle over your right knee. With your left palm on your right thigh and right palm supporting behind you, gently twist your waist as your exhale and look over your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, gently returning to neutral position and doing the same for the other side. Repeat 3 times for each side.
With hands and knees on the ground, ensure hands are perpendicular and shoulder’s width apart while knees are set below the hips. Centre your head so that your eyes are looking straight to the ground. Slowly curve your back towards the ceiling and allow your head to naturally tuck towards your chest. Exhale. Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
Kneeling on the ground with knees apart, extend out your palms facing down and lower your head towards your knees. Feel the stretch from your ankles and thighs, to your hips and shoulders. Hold for as long as you need.
Standing Side Stretch
With hands on your sides, straighten your right arm, bring it overhead and reach to the left. Allow your head to slightly tilt left as your right side stretches out. Hold the stretch for about 5 seconds and do the same for your left side.
Stand with your feet at shoulder’s width apart and without bending your knees, slowly bend forward with your head first, allowing the weight of your arms to pull your shoulders down. Bend further and reach as far to the ground as possible. Hold the lowest position you can go for about 5 seconds and slowly roll back up, vertebrae by vertebrae, with your head being the last to return back up.Photo credits: Racool_studio