Stretching is an Act of Self-Care

Is stretching something you avoid? I used to brag that I didn’t need to stretch (yeah right, 20-year-old me was not so smart!) and I avoided yoga for many years because it seemed like “forced stretching.”

Then, a few years ago, I was plagued with back pain and couldn’t even do simple activities, like unloading the dishwasher, without potentially injuring myself. I also suffered from pain at night and with sitting, standing, or walking – it was just hard to get comfortable. I knew something needed to change.

The thing is, your body is constantly changing with age and activity level, so it needs help in the form of stretching. The key is to figure out where you are tight and stretch that. 

The only parts of the body that can stretch are the muscles. The other parts can’t stretch, like joints, bones, tendons, and ligaments.


5 ways to incorporate stretching into your everyday life

  1. Make stretching a part of your morning routine. Take 5 minutes to stretch each morning, ideally once you’re warmed up, like after a shower or short walk.
  2. While at your desk or in your car, stretch your arms and chest to help alleviate back and neck pain and will improve your posture.
  3. If you’re typing and feel your neck getting tight, roll your head and stretch your neck.
  4. When you’re doing chores or picking up the house, take a moment to stretch your hamstrings and lower back. Avoid lifting while stretching to protect your back. 
  5. If you feel knee pain on the stairs, stop at the top or bottom and take a moment to stretch your quads and hamstrings.


Not only will adding little stretches to your life help you feel better, but if you keep stretching the muscles that are generally tight, you’ll reduce your chance of injury and decrease your recovery time.


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