Just as there are stretches to kick start your day (see here) and stretches to wind down to prepare for bed (see here), there are also midday stretches to help boost your energy levels if you suffer ad afternoon slump.
As most people in the world are still working from home, the usual coffee break with colleagues may not be possible but here are 3 simple and easy to do stretches that do not take up too much time – the perfect activity to break up your day.
- Neck Rolls
This a simple movement to perform. You don’t even have to stand up! It is also one that you can even do at the office without attracting too much attention.
Neck rolls can relieve stiffness as well as ease muscle tension.
- Begin with your head straight and look forward
- Gently tilt your head to the left side and start rolling it back in a circle.
- Bring your head back up to the same starting position and do it again.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times.
- If you find tight spots, hold and breathe into it to release any tightness. Do not force it. Go gently and slowly
- Switch to the opposite side for 3 to 5 repetitions.
2. Cross Body Reach
Yet another uncomplicated stretch that you can do from the comfort of your chair! While it would be better to do it standing up (so that your legs also get a stretch), you do have the choice to sit down if you so wish.
This action stretches shoulder muscles and promotes overall range of motion in the shoulder.
- Extend your left arm across your chest and gently press your right hand on the left, exerting soft pressure. Do not push too hard and always listen to your body to avoid sharp pains.
- Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Release and repeat on the opposite arm.
- Repeat on each side one more time.
3. Seated Pigeon Pose
The seated pigeon pose provides a fantastic stretch the hamstrings. It is also excellent at opening the hips and releasing tightness in the back.
- Sit up straight in your chair without leaning into the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Bring your left leg over the right leg, left ankle resting on the right knee.
- Take a deep breath in as you slowly lean forward as far as you can from the hips. Then breathe out slowly as you hold the position.
- Switch leg positions and repeat.
- Don’t forget to breathe!
Midday stretching offers many positive effects on our emotional and physical health. It is a good break to rest and recharge. As a note of caution, stretching should be comfortable and never be forced to the point of pain. If you cannot relax into a stretch or if you feel severe discomfort, decrease the intensity of the stretch or discontinue the stretch entirely.
When in doubt, always consult the advice of a professional healthcare worker.