When life gets crazy, it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Setting aside a few moments to do something to better your health and the way you feel can make a big impact on your day. One quick and simple thing you can do for your health is stretch. There are many effective stretches that target certain muscle groups and issues. Below you’ll find a couple common stretches that you can do daily that target muscles that often get overworked and strained in our day to day lives.
First on the stretch list is the neck. Let’s face it, you probably do things throughout your day that are not very kind to your neck. Whether it’s hunching over your phone, cleaning up after the kids, or straining over your work computer, your neck puts up with a lot. Give your neck a stretch by tilting one ear towards your shoulder while standing upright. Once you’ve stretched you neck as far as feels comfortable, open your hand on the side you’re tilting away from, turning your palm outward. This allows your neck to stretch a little bit further.
Next, is a calf. For those of us who spend a lot of time on our feet this stretch can be a lifesaver. Sore feet are caused in part by tight calf muscles. And for those who may suffer from plantar fasciitis this stretch can be especially helpful. You’re going to need one extra item: a towel. Place your heel on a soft but stable surface like a rug or yoga mat. Roll up a towel and place the ball of your foot on it. Step forward with the other foot. Do this with your knee straight instead of bent. Hold it for a good half a minute and then switch to your other foot.
Give yourself a few minutes to stretch. You’ll feel better.
Written by Tom Farnsworth PT