For some of us, setting some time aside for ourselves is very difficult. Between work, raising families, and other commitments, it's easier to put off exercising until tomorrow. But, the next thing you know a week has gone by and you haven't even stretched. And your body punishes you for it.
Here are some smart ways you can sneak some much-needed stretches into your busy schedule.
Stretch in bed.
Stretching daily is very beneficial. You don't have to roll out a yoga mat and search online for videos. A few simple moves from bed suffice.
Do you ever notice that animals, particularly cats, and dogs, always stretch when they get up from a nap or a long rest? We should be doing that too.
Stretch in traffic.
Just in case this isn't obvious... do not attempt to stretch as your vehicle is actually moving. If you are stuck on IH 35 or sitting at one of the many long lights in Austin, sneak in a few stretches.
You can mostly focus on your neck, shoulders, and arms. You can throw in a few core exercises too.
When I am stuck on a long commute, I like to engage my core and let the curves and turns on the road challenge my core activation.
Stretch at work.
Whether you work from home or away from the home, you can do a few stretches during your breaks. If you work from home, it is tempting to sit through and stay in the zone of flow. This is great for productivity but horrible for your circulation.
Set a timer to remind you to get up and stretch every 45 minutes or so. A break as short as 5 minutes has many more benefits than sitting through long periods of time.
If stretching is painful.
Stretching helps your muscle stay flexible and maintain your range of motion. If you experience tightness or have poor posture, try adding some self-myofascial release. You can do this by trigger pointing your muscles to relieve knots and adhesions.
When you have knots on your muscles and don't take care of them, you can hurt your posture. Over time this makes things worse for you to the point where you'll be in pain.
You should be able to do simple day-to-day activities pain-free and with good form. Read this post to see if you can benefit from MTPs (Myofascial Trigger Pointing).
Remember, stretching daily doesn't require a bunch of time and props.
Thanks for reading!
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Rafael has been in the health and fitness industry since 2006. He is certified by the NASM & insured.
Areas of Expertise
Joint Pain Relief, Post-Rehab Personal Training, Posture Correction, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Strength Training, Core and Balance, Flexibility and Mobility, Muscle Gain, Posture, TRX, Functional Training, Myofascial Release, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Stress Reduction, Corrective Exercise, Golf