Most people on a health/weight loss journey probably don't even have stretching on their radar monthly, let alone daily. But what if I told you that, outside of all the physical benefits of stretching, it also has tons of benefits for your mental health as well?
I think it's safe to say that we all experience stress on some level, and we all have our favorite ways to alleviate that stress, but if you're not using stretching in your repertoire, YOU SHOULD BE! Helping to calm and relax, release tension, and increase blood flow to your brain and muscles, these 5 stretches will be your new favorite way to de-stress every day!!
Downward Dog- Starting, make sure your knees are slightly behind your hips, and your hands are shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers out wide and press your hands into the mat or floor and gently tuck your toes under and take a deep inhale. Keeping your hands pressed into the mat exhale deeply, lifting your knees off the floor and straightening your legs as much as you can.
Upward Dog- Lie flat on your stomach, bend your elbows and bring your hands next to your chest so your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Draw your shoulder blades together and in one smooth motion, push your torso off of the floor, arching your back and extending your head towards the ceiling. Try to progress into lifting your hips and thighs off the ground as well!
Seated Spinal Twist- Sit on a folded blanket, legs straight out in front of you.
Inhale and draw your knees up close to the chest, both feet on the floor. Drop your left leg down, resting the foot against the right buttock. Lift your right leg and place it over your left leg, knee toward the ceiling, right ankle by the left knee. Draw the right leg toward the body. Do this to whatever degree of comfort your body allows. Inhale, and then on an exhale, bring the left elbow to the outside of the right knee as you twist toward the right.
Child's Pose- Sit on your knees. Lean forward, keeping your buttocks on your heels, and rest your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms out over your head, flat on the ground, with your palms down. Inhale and exhale, slowly and deeply.
Reclined Spinal Twist- Lying flat on your back with your legs flat and arms straight out in a T shape, bring your left knee up to your chest, exhale, and using your right hand, slowly pull it to the right side of your body as close to the floor as you can. Breathe deeply, switch, and repeat with the opposite leg.
While you're on your journey, don't forget to nurture and improve your mental health as well as your physical health. Be sure you give yourself a few minutes each day to incorporate these stretches, de-stress, and get ready to slay the day! And as always, if you need extra support on your health or weight loss journey, I'm ready to help!
With love and a little kick in the ass,