8 Stretches to Relieve Aches and Pains
Posted by North Jersey Massage Maywood, NJ
As we age, we lose muscle mass. Muscles become tighter and less flexible especially if exercise is not part of your regular routine. Additionally poor posture, injuries, inflammation, spasms and misalignment's cause muscle tightness. If neglected, tight muscles get tighter and weak muscles get weaker.
Tip to successful aging: Stay flexible
Many people I meet don't see the importance of stretching until they are injured or in pain with limited range of motion. The truth is that daily stretching is as important as doing cardio and resistance exercises.
If you spend a lot of time sitting by a desk, make time to stretch.
Good idea to warm up your muscles before stretching by walking for a few minutes, jog in place or rotate all your joints.
Hold the stretch. Inhale from your nose into your lower abdomen while exhaling stretch. Continue breathing with each exhale extending lightly, but push only as far as comfortable.
Hold stretches for at least 20 seconds or as tolerated.
If you keep up with daily stretching, you'll notice subtle changes. Your flexibility and range of motion will improve and you'll feel less stiff.
The following stretches are effective, simple exercises that can improve posture, prevent injuries and target most common areas if aches and pains....
This stretch helps with sitting in front of a computer for long periods and extending your head forward. Can be done sitting or standing. Keep your neck and back in alignment. The focus is to pull the head back, which stretches the neck muscles.
Relax your shoulders. Pretend your holding an orange under your chin. Inhale deeply through your nose. When you exhale from your mouth push your chin forward. Inhale again and slowly return your head to starting position. Repeat as many times as you like to loosen up your neck.
This stretch loosens the shoulder muscles. Can be done sitting or standing. Depending on your flexibility this can be done with a strap or by holding your fingertips.
Hold a strap in your right hand, and raise your arm above your head. Bring your right hand down behind your head. Grab the end of the strap with your left hand. Raise your right hand up as high as comfortable, lifting your left hand along with it. Hold for as long as comfortable. Repeat on opposite side.
Reminder Tip: While holding the stretch inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth to help loosen up tight muscles.
This stretches the lower back and gluteus maximus muscles. Improves blood flow and relieves muscle tension.
Sit with correct posture and place your feet on the floor or lie on the floor. Clasp both hands beneath your left leg. Bring your left knee toward your chest. Hold the stretch. When ready release and repeat on opposite side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Sitting for long periods can lead to tight hip flexors - the muscles that support the hip joints. Stand behind a sturdy chair holding on to the back of it. Slide your right leg back a comfortable distance. Gently tuck your tailbone under and press your hips forward while keeping the heel of your foot down. When you feel the stretch in your upper leg/hip region hold. Repeat 2 more times and then do 3 times on opposite side.
Legs: Hamstring Massage
The area in back of the thigh of your leg connecting the hips and knees are prone to tightening up. By massaging the area you increase blood flow and calm muscle tension.
Sit in a sturdy chair and place a foam roller under one thigh ( can also be done on the floor). Slowly and gently roll and press your leg along the roller. continue as long as you like. Repeat on opposite leg.
Working on the computer, driving, doing housework, etc. your hands and wrists are prone to tightening up and cramping.
This works the wrist and forearms. Sit in a chair, rest your forearms on your thighs with your wrists dangling just beyond your knees. Make loose fists with your hands. Slowly lift your knuckles towards the ceiling and hold. Lower your knuckles towards the floor and hold. Repeat as much as you feel comfortable.
Feet tend to cramp, be stiff and tight. This will help loosen the arches and relieve discomfort. Can be done sitting or standing if holding on to something sturdy. Sit in a chair with both feet on a foam roller. Roll your feet back and forth to massage the bottoms. You can also use tennis balls under your feet and roll back and forth to massage the bottoms.
Good for hands, fingers, and wrist strain. Can be done sitting or standing. Sit with tall spine in proper posture. Place hands on thighs with palms facing down. Squeeze fingers together, then separate one finger at a time, starting with pinky finger, then ring finger until all fingers are separated. Again squeeze fingers together and repeat as much as you like. You can also place hands in front of you and make V and W shapes with fingers.
At North Jersey Massage Maywood, NJ we offer a variety of massage therapy services, recommendations for self help advice and teach Zen Stretch and Meditation Classes. For additional information or any questions you can reach us at 201-406-8220 or check out our website at www.northjerseymassage.net