The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year. However, our bodies may not feel so “wonderful” as we fill ourselves with extra treats, turkeys, and other tasty temptations. This season as we wish others well, let’s also wish our bodies well too. A key component of wellness is flexibility. Flexibility allows our bodies to move more easily through their different motions. It can also assist with better blood flow, easier breathing, and less pain. Below are 12 holiday stretches for whole-body flexibility that won’t just wish you well, but help you truly feel well.
Top 12 Holiday Stretches
Childs Pose: Knees narrow or wide, simultaneously reach forward and rock your hips back toward your ankles. Feeling the stretch in your hips and low back.
Childs Pose with Reach: Starting on elbows and knees, reach one hand under the other elbow, turning your chest as you do so, and then rock your hips back to your ankles. Feeling the stretch in your back and shoulder.
Open Book Stretch: Start on your side, bring your top knee up to your chest, and keep your bottom leg straight, reach your top hand back behind you. Feeling the stretch in your mid-back and front of your shoulders.
Piriformis Stretch: Place one ankle on the opposite knee, grab behind that knee and straighten that leg. Feeling the stretch in the outside hip of the bent knee, and the back of the straight leg.
Happy Baby: Grab the inside of your thighs, lower legs, or ankles, bring your knees and ankles up and out. Feeling a stretch in hips and groin.
Cat-Cow: On all fours, with continuous steady movement press your back up to the ceiling and then drop to the floor. Feeling the stretch throughout the back.
Hip Flexor Stretch: On one knee, curl your pelvis as if to tuck your tailbone under (this is important!), and gently lunge forward. Feeling the stretch in the front of your hip and thigh.
Hamstring Stretch: With one leg straight and the other bent, keep your hips pointed forward and as you lean forward into a straight leg. Feeling the stretch in the back of the leg of your straight leg.
Standing Wide Leg Stretch: Keep toes pointed forward as you fold at the hips and reach hands down to the ground. Feeling the stretch on the inside and back of your legs.
Calf Stretch: Put the balls of your feet against a wall or step, keeping that front knee straight shift your body forward. Feeling the stretch in the back of your lower leg.
Quad Stretch: Grab one ankle, while standing tall with knee pointed to the floor. Feeling stretch in the front of your thigh.
Deep Squat: Keeping heels on the ground, drop your butt as close as you can to the floor, you can balance by holding onto a firm/stable item in front of you. Feeling the stretch throughout the hips and legs.
It is important that all of the above holiday stretches are pain-free! If you find that you are consistently having pain, consider seeking professional help from a physical therapist or doctor to figure out the cause of your pain. Physical therapy is a great resource in managing multiple conditions throughout the body and can help improve overall posture and body awareness. For more information on how Action Potential can help you, request an appointment today.