I hear it all the time, "I need to stretch more" "I always forget" "I never have time".
These are just excuses to ignore our body's needs. Specially if you love staying active whether that is a sport, the gym, fitness classes, or a walk around the park. Simply just being active is not going to help your body. YOU NEED TO STRETCH.
Here are best times during your busy day to get in a stretch. Don't keep putting it off.
Right when you wake up
Morning time is probably the best time to stretch. Have you ever seen a dog wake up and NOT stretch? I haven't. Now I'm talking right when you wake up. You have done nothing else but put your feet on the ground. Now stretch up to the sky while taking a deep breath in. Slowly start to fall back down until you can't bend over anymore. once there just hang there and swing while taking deep breathes. Perfect, you're ready to do a short or long full body stretch to wake up your muscles, joints and get blood flowing.
2. Right before bed
Another great time is right before you lay down in bed. If you feel stressed, annoyed, drained after a long day. Then right before bed is the best time for you. The kids are in bed, you've brushed your teeth and in your PJs. Don't get into bed yet. stretch to the sky and begin your full body stretch. Take deep breathes, think about what you loved about your day, think about what your grateful for. No matter how long and hard your day was. End it on a relaxing note. This will allow for better sleep.
3. Before any physical activity
Regardless of what you do for a activity. Stretching before helps warm up your joints and muscles to help prevent any injuries. You can do a full body or just the muscle group you will be using during your activity. This can be done at your home or at the gym you go to. Just find an open space.
4. In-between sets
Now you may forget to stretch in the morning or right before your work out. If your work-out consist of "sets" then this is a great time to stretch. Taking breaks in-between sets helps your muscles recover before the next set. Some people look at their phone, walk around, or adjust their hair and clothing. I like to take this time to stretch the muscle group I'm working. It's not multiple stretching it may be one or two stretches held for 10 sec. This makes sure your give yourself enough time in-between sets.
5. During your lunch break
This can be easy, or it may be hard and awkward. While at your desk or on the floor of the break room may not be the best place to stretch. If you can, go outside and find a nice grassy area. Shouldn't take long, doesn't have to be long. Hit key area's that you feel are getting tight while at working.
6. After dinner (family time stretching)
Right after dinner whether that is before or after the kitchen is clean is up to you. Stretching after dinner will help relax after the day and help digest the food. Doing this with your family helps create positive habits for your kids and allows for family time with no phones and no TV.
I hope you have been able to take something from this and use it in your daily life. Staying active is the best way to live your life. Make sure your body can be active throughout your whole life by stretching, chiropractor work, and massage therapy. Don't forget to drink plenty of water. Keep doing what you love and experience what recovery can do for you.