Sometimes it may seem like a waste of time, but stretching can make a huge difference in your overall health. One of the major benefits is that stretching helps to increase blood flow, boost oxygen levels, and help deliver nutrients to your muscles.
Here are four simple stretches to help you increase your blood flow:
1 – Downward Dog: Borrowing this stretch from yoga, downward dog is incredibly beneficial for your body. Start on all fours, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips towards the ceiling while pressing your hands into the floor. Work to be able to keep your heels on the ground and to straighten your legs. Hold for 15-20 seconds, rest, and repeat 3x.
2 – Lunge: This active stretch is great for someone who sits for long periods of the day. Stand up nice and tall with your feet parallel. Step your left foot back, bending your right knee 90 degrees with your weight distributed evenly. For balance, you can keep your hands on your hips, your front knee, or a chair next to you. If you are more flexible. You can try to work your way to your forearms on the ground. Hold each side 20-30 seconds, rest, and repeat at least 2x.
3 – Legs-Up-The-Wall: This may seem silly, but it’s believed to cure many ailments! Simply lay on the ground and raise your heels against the wall and stay for as long as you like. You can also lay blankets on the ground for added support, lay on your bed with your feet up against a wall, or even just prop your calves up on the couch. Recommended time is 20 minutes.
4 – Toe Touch: Performing this stretch during the day can help prevent stiffness in the hip joints! Either sitting or standing, roll down, hinging at the hips, and try to touch your toes with your fingertips. Keep your focus down and keep breathing! If you need to bend your knees and work your way to straightened legs, that’s fine too. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2x