Super Stretches

 

A regular exercise routine is a key component of a healthy lifestyle because to be physically fit, you must focus on your cardiovascular health, muscular health and flexibility. The last is where stretching comes into play. However, stretching daily can easily be ignored.

 

Through the hustle and bustle of life, people often neglect to include stretching as part of their regular routine because they just don’t think about it or realize the value.

 

Regardless of age or activity level, stretching is something that everyone can benefit from. So, if you have not done so already, it might be time to try stretching. Stretching can benefit your overall health and well-being in many ways—such as decreasing your risk of an injury, bettering your circulation, improving your blood pressure, lowering your stress, bettering your balance and increasing your flexibility.

 

There are different types of stretching exercises so check out a few of these effective stretches to help you to start your day the right way!

 

Cobra

 

The cobra stretch is one of the most common stretches for your lower back and abdominal area. Often seen in the practice of yoga…and for good reason, this is an effective stretch! To perform this stretch, lay on your stomach, then straighten your arms and arch your back in a U. Take a deep breath and relax your body. I enjoy this stretch most after I do my daily run, as this helps to release the tension after a bit of exercise!

 

Yawn and Reach

 

As you awake, ready to rock your day, start it the right way with a yawn and reach. Let out a nice relaxing yawn and reach up to the ceiling. Stretch high and yawn so you can send oxygen to the brain.

 

This is a super stretch to tell your body you are awake and ready to get moving into your best shape! 

 

Touch Your Toes

 

Another great stretch after you rise and get ready to shine is to simply touch your toes. Reach down to the ground and touch your toes to stretch out your hamstrings and lower back. Go nice and easy so you are sure not to pull a muscle. Now, take a deep breath and relax. If you want to feel your body less tight and at ease, get into this stretch and loosen up. Hold for 10 seconds to make the most out of this effective stretch!

 

Hug Your Legs

 

Even legs need hugs, especially if you want to stretch them out the right way! Lay on your back, bring your leg towards your chest and hug your legs, almost like a fetal position. This stretch really works out your hamstring. For most of us that have tight hamstrings, this stretch will help you to prevent an injury down the road. As a marathon runner, I consider this a critical stretch as part of my training and injury prevention.

 

Belly Quadriceps Stretch

 

Lay on your stomach, pull your legs behind and stretch out your quadriceps. Hold for 20 seconds to feel this stretch in the long muscle in the front of your leg. This will activate the quad muscle so you can protect from an injury and just feel better. Start your day with this super effective stretch!

 

Butterfly

 

Sit upright with your legs crossed and push your legs down to the floor to perform a butterfly stretch. This stretch will help to loosen your inner thighs. Flutter like a butterfly then hold down for 20 seconds. This will stretch out your inner thigh muscles and open your hips. Repeat three times to start your day!

 

As a runner and avid exerciser, I find opening your hips to be an integral part of daily stretching. You will feel less tight and have a more efficient workout as a result!

 

Runner’s Stretch

 

Get in a runner’s stance, lean down and stretch the muscles in your legs. Since you will be using those leg muscles throughout the day, it is a good idea to give them a nice stretch. The best way to describe a runner’s stretch is the position you get into as you prepare for the start of a race. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then perform on the other side.

 

Now with all these super stretches, are you ready to start the day on the right foot?

 

As a healthy mom of four and personal trainer, I utilize these stretches for myself and my clients because they work! So, what are you waiting for?

 

Be sure to follow these stretches, have a glass of water and get ready for a super awakened and relaxed day! Happy stretching, get ready for a limber and lovely day!

 

Tara

Tara Zimliki is a nationally recognized weight loss expert, personal trainer, health coach, health writer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. Tara also runs her own blog, funfitmama.com