- October 6, 2015
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I am getting older, my body becoming stiffer, creaks happening in joints that once moved fluidly through their daily motions. Yikes! Methinks I need to stretch more. But when and how? I can fit in the occasional weekly yoga class. But that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
In some alternative healing modules, physical flexibility is often seen as a reflection of one’s ability to be emotionally flexible, easing effortlessly through the riptides and flows of life.
Last week, I woke up with a stiff neck, lower back and creaking from joints that were silent until today. My body speaks. I must answer with stretching. I decided right then and there I would find a way to incorporate stretching into my daily routine. Sounds easy enough. Mind you, this is a routine that involves three children under the age of seven. Not so easy sounding anymore, eh?
Here is how I’ve been guaranteeing stretching all week into my days. Try it, you might like it:
1. The hamstring shower stretch: As the name implies, this involves stretching my hamstring in the shower. This is a surprisingly quick way to stretch because the muscles are warm from the water, so you only need 30 seconds or so. Touch my toes, after the water is turned off of course, to conserve water.
2. The playing with my children on the floor stretch: Again, as the name implies…I sit on the floor and roll a ball to my baby while in a ballerina v-leg stretch position. A variety of stretches are possible while on the floor as I have learned. Side stretches, cat-cow, inner thigh butterfly stretches. (Do an internet search for pictures of these specific stretches).
3. Neck rolls while breastfeeding or reading: Self-explanatory. Go slowly and doing this for a few minutes has done wonders for my neck and elongating my over-worked deltoids.
(Side note: I have started doing leg inversions while breastfeeding with my side-lying baby and he now puts his legs in the air while eating on occasion. I know, sharing too much information with you).
4. Ankle rolls while lying in bed reading to my children: Another way to do this is to involve your children. Have them trace the alphabet on the ceiling with their toes. This is a legitimate physical therapy exercise given to people to strengthen their ankles, a very neglected part of the body but also very important. Important you say? Yes, think WALKING.
What wacky and fun ways can you find to incorporate stretching into your day? Your tired body will thank you for it!