Stretching is important even if you don’t work out every day. A recent study by Harvard Medical School stresses the importance of daily stretching. The researchers found that stretching is necessary to prevent joint pain and prolonged injury.
If you work out, you can stretch right before you start to exercise to prevent joint and muscle injury. And even when you don’t work out daily, you can incorporate stretching into your daily routine. This post discusses some helpful steps you can apply right now to incorporate stretching into your daily routine.
1. Do it in the morning
Stretching right after you wake up helps the blood flow into your extremities and makes you more awake, alive, and ready to seize the day. It can also help you achieve better breathing control and leave you with more energy to have a productive day ahead.
2. Do it during breaks
This routine helps especially if you have a job that requires you to sit in one place and stare at a computer screen all day long, Each time you take a break to drink water and go to the washroom, stand up and do a few stretches. Reach your arms all the way up over your head, bend down to reach your toes, and rotate your torso from side to side. This will help you feel invigorated and return to work with renewed vigor.
3. Do it after you reach home
If your job involves going out of your house and working in an office, stretching right after you reach home can be a good way to reconnect with your body. It will also help ease the stress of a tough day. It can be your small act of self-love, your way of reclaiming control over your time, attention, mind, and body.
4. Do it when you brush your teeth
Every morning and right before you go to bed, stretching when you brush your teeth can be a great and effective way of getting your heartbeat up and burning some quick calories while spending minimal effort. Stand on your toes and feel the stretch in your calves. You can also lift your leg, bend it at the knee, and stretch it behind your back. This not only helps you achieve better balance, but it can also be a great way to stretch without actively thinking about it.
5. Get a habit tracker
You can also download a habit tracker where you check off the days on the calendar when you managed to stick to your goal of stretching each day. You’ll soon start craving for an unbroken streak. This can act as a great trigger and a cue for your body and mind to start your habit immediately. Soon, the idea of not stretching at all and spending your day in a sedentary manner will no longer look so attractive.
6. Get an accountability partner
No matter how hard you’re pushing yourself, doing something so big and challenging all by yourself can get tough at times. To make sure you don’t lose motivation midway, have a friend who is working on the same goals of stretching even for a bit each day. If you stay with a friend or roommate, try and get them on board. This is a great way to ensure you don’t miss out on your stretches and take care of your body as well.
If you aren’t able to find a friend working towards the same daily stretching goals, you can hire an accountability coach to help you keep on track. They are trained professionals who will hold you accountable each day and make sure you don’t fall off the wagon even if you are demotivated.