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Community Advocacy Organization

Too busy to work out? Why Stretching is a Great Option for Busy Individuals

Art work by Kristen Hanna

Stretching is an essential component of any workout routine, and it is crucial for maintaining overall health and fitness. I’ve been stretching regularly for about 3 years and I’ve seen that stretching helps to increase flexibility, range of motion, and can also help prevent injury. When you stretch, you are elongating your muscles, which can help to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.

In addition to the physical benefits, stretching can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Stretching helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels by promoting relaxation and deep breathing. It can also help to improve your focus and concentration. This improves my productivity and general feeling of well-being.

For beginners, I recommend starting with the following three stretches:

  1. Hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Reach forward and try to touch your toes, keeping your back straight. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

  2. Shoulder stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and clasp your hands behind your back. Gently lift your hands up as far as you can, keeping your arms straight. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

  3. Quad stretch: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift your left foot off the ground. Hold onto your left ankle with your left hand and gently pull your heel towards your buttocks. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.

Along with stretching, there are foods that are beneficial for your soft tissues. Here are five foods that are good for tendons and muscles:

  1. Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

  2. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, which is essential for muscle and nerve function.

  3. Nuts: Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are high in protein and healthy fats, which are important for muscle growth and repair.

  4. Spinach: Spinach is a good source of iron, which is necessary for healthy muscles and tendons.

  5. Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue.

Finally, stretching is a great option for those who may not have time for a full workout. Even just a few minutes of stretching can help to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and promote relaxation. It's a simple and effective way to maintain overall health and well-being.

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