woman sleeping on a bed with a body-length pillow

Sleeping Like a Baby: Discover the Best Positions for Easing Sore Bodies

A good night’s sleep is essential for overall well-being, but when you’re dealing with a sore body, finding the right sleeping position becomes crucial. Whether it’s from a strenuous workout, a long day at the office, or simply the wear and tear of daily life, aches and pains can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling groggy in the morning. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best sleeping positions to alleviate soreness and help you wake up feeling refreshed.

1. The Back Sleeper’s Paradise

Back sleeping is often recommended by healthcare professionals as it helps maintain a neutral spine position, reducing strain on your neck and back. To enhance this position’s effectiveness in relieving soreness, consider placing a pillow under your knees to support the natural curve of your lower back. This slight elevation can alleviate pressure on your lumbar spine and promote better alignment.

If you’re dealing with shoulder pain, try sleeping with your arms by your sides rather than overhead. Placing a small pillow under each arm can prevent discomfort and allow your shoulders to relax. Back sleeping is particularly beneficial for those with back pain, as it evenly distributes your weight and minimizes pressure points.

2. Side Sleeping for Hip and Shoulder Relief

For many people, side sleeping is the preferred position, but it’s crucial to maintain proper alignment to avoid exacerbating soreness. If you’re dealing with hip pain, try sleeping with a pillow between your knees. This helps align your hips and reduces strain on the joints. Additionally, placing a pillow under your head to keep your spine straight can prevent neck pain.

If shoulder pain is your main concern, consider sleeping on your non-dominant side with a pillow tucked between your arm and chest. This keeps your shoulder in a natural position and prevents compression. Experiment with different pillow sizes to find the right support for your body, ensuring that your head and neck remain in a neutral position.

3. The Fetal Position: A Comfortable Option with Caveats

The fetal position is a popular choice for many sleepers, providing a sense of comfort and security. To adopt this position while minimizing strain, curl up on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest. Place a pillow between your knees to maintain proper spinal alignment and reduce pressure on your hips.

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential drawbacks of the fetal position. If you curl too tightly, you may restrict your diaphragm, making breathing more challenging. Additionally, tucking your head too far down can strain your neck. To mitigate these issues, try to keep your body slightly elongated and avoid tucking your chin too close to your chest.

4. The Pillow Fortress: Elevate and Support

Pillows aren’t just for your head—they can be strategic tools in alleviating soreness. Creating a pillow fortress can provide additional support and help maintain proper alignment throughout the night. Elevate your legs slightly by placing a pillow under your knees, or support your lumbar curve with a small pillow at the base of your spine.

If you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, consider elevating your upper body with a wedge-shaped pillow. This can prevent stomach acid from flowing back into your esophagus, providing relief and promoting a more restful sleep.

5. The Reclined Position: Ideal for Breathing and Acid Reflux

For those who find traditional flat sleeping uncomfortable, a slightly inclined position might be the solution. Elevate your upper body with an adjustable bed, or use a wedge pillow to achieve a gentle incline. This can be particularly beneficial for people dealing with snoring, sleep apnea, or acid reflux.

Keep in mind that while the reclined position can offer relief for certain conditions, it may not be suitable for everyone. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether this sleeping position is appropriate for your specific needs.

Conclusion

When it comes to easing a sore body, the right sleeping position can make a world of difference. Experiment with different positions and pillow arrangements to find what works best for you. Remember, maintaining proper spinal alignment is key to reducing pain and promoting restful sleep.

In addition to adopting suitable sleeping positions, consider investing in a supportive mattress and pillows to further enhance your sleep quality. If soreness persists, consult with a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues and receive personalized advice on optimizing your sleep environment. With the right combination of sleep positions and support, you’ll be on your way to waking up feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day.

man in an ice hole in frozen conditions.

Embracing the Chill: The Remarkable Benefits of Cold Therapy for Body Recovery

In the quest for optimal physical performance and recovery, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are constantly exploring innovative approaches. One such method that has gained popularity in recent years is cold therapy. From ice baths to cryotherapy chambers, the application of cold to the body has shown remarkable benefits in aiding recovery and promoting overall well-being. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the science behind cold therapy and uncover the multitude of advantages it offers for body recovery.

 

Understanding Cold Therapy: A Brief Overview

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures for a short duration. This can be achieved through various methods, including ice baths, cold showers, cryo chambers, and even cold packs applied to specific areas. The primary goal is to harness the therapeutic effects of cold to reduce inflammation, soothe sore muscles, and enhance the body’s natural recovery processes.

Reducing Inflammation and Muscle Soreness

One of the standout benefits of cold therapy is its ability to combat inflammation. After intense physical activity, the body often experiences microtraumas in the muscles, leading to inflammation as part of the natural healing process. Cold therapy helps constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the affected areas, mitigating inflammation and alleviating muscle soreness.

Ice baths, where individuals immerse themselves in cold water for a prescribed duration, are a popular form of cold therapy. The cold temperature causes blood vessels to constrict, flushing out waste products and reducing the metabolic rate of tissues. As the body warms up post-treatment, fresh blood rushes back, carrying oxygen and nutrients to aid in the recovery process.

Speeding Up Muscle Recovery and Repair

Cold therapy has been found to expedite the muscle recovery and repair process. Intense physical activity can lead to muscle damage, and a quicker recovery allows athletes to resume training sooner and maintain a consistent workout routine.

The cold triggers vasoconstriction, narrowing blood vessels, which reduces the fluid build-up and subsequent swelling in the muscles. This vasoconstriction is followed by vasodilation when the body warms up again, promoting a surge of nutrient-rich blood to the muscles. This cyclical process is thought to enhance the delivery of essential nutrients, aiding in the repair of damaged tissues.

Easing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Anyone who has pushed their physical limits knows the discomfort of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that follows an intense workout. Cold therapy has emerged as a practical solution to ease the symptoms of DOMS. Applying cold to affected areas helps numb nerve endings, providing temporary relief from pain and discomfort.

Cryotherapy chambers, which expose the entire body to extremely low temperatures for a short duration, have gained popularity for their efficiency in reducing DOMS. The sudden exposure to cold stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, offering not only physical relief but also contributing to an improved mood.

Enhancing Athletic Performance

Cold therapy isn’t just about recovery; it can also play a role in enhancing athletic performance. Pre-cooling, or exposing the body to cold before exercise, has been studied for its potential to improve endurance and performance.

By lowering the body’s core temperature before physical activity, cold therapy may help delay the onset of fatigue. This is particularly relevant in endurance sports, where maintaining a lower core temperature can extend the time to exhaustion. Athletes may find that incorporating cold therapy into their pre-training routine allows them to push their limits and achieve better results.

Boosting Metabolism and Fat Loss

Beyond its impact on recovery, cold therapy has been linked to potential benefits in metabolism and fat loss. Exposure to cold temperatures activates brown adipose tissue (BAT), a type of fat that burns calories to generate heat. This process, known as thermogenesis, could contribute to weight management and fat loss over time.

Cryotherapy, in particular, has gained attention for its potential role in weight management. While not a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise, the increased calorie expenditure during and after cryotherapy sessions may complement a holistic approach to weight loss.

Improving Sleep Quality

Quality sleep is a cornerstone of optimal recovery, and cold therapy may play a role in promoting better sleep. Exposure to cold temperatures induces a drop in core body temperature, a natural signal for the body to prepare for sleep. Many individuals who incorporate cold showers or baths into their evening routine report improved sleep quality and faster onset of sleep.

The relaxation induced by the cooling effect of cold therapy can also help alleviate stress and anxiety, contributing to an overall sense of well-being. A good night’s sleep is a fundamental component of a successful recovery strategy, allowing the body to repair and regenerate during the night.

Mitigating Joint Pain and Arthritis Symptoms

Cold therapy has demonstrated efficacy in mitigating joint pain and symptoms associated with arthritis. The anti-inflammatory effects of cold therapy can be particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis, where inflammation contributes to joint pain and stiffness.

Localized cold therapy, such as applying cold packs to specific joints, can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Additionally, cryotherapy chambers have been explored as a non-pharmacological intervention for arthritis, providing relief to individuals dealing with chronic joint conditions.

Incorporating Cold Therapy into Your Routine

Now that we’ve explored the myriad benefits of cold therapy, the next question is how to incorporate it into your routine effectively. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Post-Workout Ice Baths: Consider incorporating post-workout ice baths into your routine, especially after intense training sessions or competitions. Aim for 10-15 minutes in cold water to reap the benefits of reduced inflammation and muscle soreness.
  2. Cold Showers: If immersing yourself in cold water seems daunting, start with cold showers. Gradually decrease the water temperature at the end of your shower to experience the refreshing effects of cold therapy.
  3. Cryotherapy Sessions: Explore local cryotherapy facilities that offer whole-body cryotherapy sessions. These sessions typically last a few minutes, exposing your body to ultra-low temperatures. Consult with professionals to determine the frequency and duration suitable for your needs. Why not visit our partners down at Beach Cities Cryo in Torrance?
  4. Cold Packs for Targeted Relief: For localized pain or soreness, consider using cold packs on specific areas. This can be especially beneficial for joint pain or areas with acute inflammation.
  5. Pre-Workout Cooling: Experiment with pre-cooling strategies, such as applying a cold pack to specific muscle groups before exercise. Monitor how this impacts your endurance and performance over time.
Safety Considerations and Precautions

While cold therapy offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to approach it with caution and be mindful of potential risks. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease, cold allergies, or cardiovascular issues, should consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cold therapy into their routine. It’s also crucial to avoid prolonged exposure to extreme cold, as this can lead to adverse effects such as frostbite.

Conclusion: Embrace the Cold for Optimal Recovery

In conclusion, the benefits of cold therapy for body recovery are extensive and backed by scientific evidence. Whether you’re an elite athlete or someone seeking to enhance their fitness journey, incorporating cold therapy into your routine can be a game-changer. From reducing inflammation and muscle soreness to improving sleep quality and boosting metabolism, the potential advantages of cold therapy are vast. Experiment with different methods and listen to your body.

woman stood up in front of a desk stretching her arms over her head

Prolonged Sitting and Lower Back Pain: How Stretching Can Help

For many of us, our daily work routine involves long hours at a desk, which can contribute to lower back pain. Thankfully, incorporating specific stretches into our daily lives can alleviate this discomfort.

The Impact of Sitting on Lower Back

Prolonged sitting compresses the discs in our lower back, which can lead to chronic pain. Sedentary habits also weaken our core muscles and cause tightness in the hip flexors, further contributing to lower back discomfort.

Stretching: A Simple Solution to a Common Problem

Stretching is a straightforward, time-efficient solution to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. By incorporating a few key stretches into your daily routine, you can reduce lower back pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen your core muscles.

Stretches to Ease Lower Back Pain

1. Lumbar Extension Stretch – Stand up, place your hands on the small of your back, and gently arch backward. Hold for 20 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times.

2. Seated Figure Four Stretch – While seated, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Gently push down on your right knee while leaning forward. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs.

3. Standing Hamstring Stretch – Stand straight, then bend at the hips and reach towards your feet. Keep your legs straight but not locked. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

4. Child’s Pose – Kneel on a comfortable surface, sit back on your heels, and reach your arms forward on the ground. Allow your back to gently stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.

Building a Stretching Routine into Your Day

Start with a few stretches and gradually build up. You might find it beneficial to set reminders on your phone or computer to ensure you’re stretching regularly.

Don’t force or rush the stretches; it’s important to breathe deeply and relax into each stretch. With consistent practice, you will start noticing improvements in your lower back discomfort and overall posture.

Remember, the goal isn’t to turn you into an athlete or a yoga guru—it’s to enhance your comfort and productivity at work, improving your quality of life. While these stretches can be a great place to start, always consult with a healthcare provider if you have severe or persistent back pain.

Final Thoughts

Implementing a simple stretching routine can make a world of difference for people suffering from lower back pain due to prolonged sitting. Stretching not only eases the discomfort but also helps in promoting overall health and wellbeing.

Take the first step towards a healthier you and start stretching today!

Man lying on his side on a foam roller under his hip

5 Benefits of Foam Rolling

If you have spent time in a gym or physical therapy clinic, you have undoubtedly encountered a foam roller. You might have even used one without fully understanding its many benefits.

This article will outline the many benefits of foam rolling to help you ease muscle tension and soreness from home.

What is a Foam Roller?

Before diving into the benefits of foam rolling, let’s talk more about what a foam roller is and how it works.

A foam roller is, quite simply, a tool made out of foam that you can roll along your body to ease muscle tension along trigger points. This is often called myofascial release, referring to the release of muscles and their surrounding tissues.

It targets specific muscle groups to stimulate blood flow, loosen knots, and restore mobility. Best of all, a foam roller is completely portable. You can use it at home or take it to the office, the gym, or on vacation. This portability ensures you always have an easy way to soothe your muscles after a long day of travel, a challenging workout, or sitting at a desk.

5 Benefits of Using a Foam Roller

Here are five reasons to add foam rolling to your daily routine.

1. Reduce muscle soreness and aches

The primary reason people use a foam roller is to ease aching muscles. The foam roller acts as a type of massager by getting knots out of muscles and helping ease their pain.

Note that foam rolling may not feel great at the time – in fact, it can be somewhat painful, especially in tight muscle areas. However, after foam rolling, you should start feeling better.

2. Provide back pain relief

Note that people experiencing extreme back pain should not try foam rolling. If you have concerns about whether or not you should engage in physical activity, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider. Incorrect foam rolling could cause further damage or lead to additional injury.

However, some people find relief from back pain by using a foam roller. A foam roller can improve spinal alignment, release tension, and improve posture.

Healthline offers several examples of foam rolling exercises that can be used to ease minor back aches and pains.

3. Increase range of motion

Your mobility may be restricted because of muscle tightness. By using a foam roller to loosen muscles throughout your body, you may be able to increase your range of motion. This can make exercising and performing daily tasks easier and more manageable.

Research shows that incorporating foam rolling into a warmup can maximize its benefits and set you up for a great workout.

4. Reduce inflammation and maximize recovery

Foam rolling instantly increases circulation in the areas that are worked. This increase in blood flow can help you get more oxygen to areas of your body that need it most. In addition, the added oxygen can help bring fresh nutrients to sore spots to remove inflammatory waste products, thereby maximizing recovery.

5. Improve sleep quality

Sleeping with pain or muscle soreness can be a challenge. Foam rolling for a few minutes before bed can help loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow, making it easier to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Feeling Tight? StretchSPOT Can Help!

A foam roller is an excellent at-home tool for relieving muscle tension and tightness. But sometimes, you need a bit more support.

At StretchSPOT, we help everyone from elite athletes to those looking to improve their mobility around the house feel better through personalized stretching. Book your appointment today to get started.

5 Surprising Ways Poor Posture Impacts Your Health

Our society has a chronic problem with posture. Many of us spend our days hunched over a keyboard, putting strain on our necks and causing tension in our shoulders and upper back. We relax at night by sitting in a reclined position on the couch, phone in hand.

Even those of us who are more active throughout the day can fall into a routine of standing with rounded shoulders instead of standing up straight like we know we should. Being slouched is often more comfortable because it requires fewer muscles. Unfortunately, poor posture can make you look unconfident. It can also cause health problems that impact other aspects of your life.
Health Effects of Bad Posture
Here are five surprising ways that poor posture can negatively affect your health.

1. Digestive Troubles

Slouching adds pressure to the abdomen, which can trigger acid reflux after you eat. This results in uncomfortable heartburn and can even impact the intestines, causing constipation and a loss of appetite. Make a point to stand or sit up straight after meals to aid digestion. Going for a walk after eating can also help.

2. Headaches

Slouching adds pressure on to your neck, which can lead to tension headaches. If you frequently find yourself with a headache, it could be due to poor posture when you are sitting at your desk.

3. Breathing efficacy

Slouching puts extra pressure on your lungs, which can negatively affect how much oxygen you are able to take in with every breath. Over time, this can cause problems throughout your body because every cell in your body requires oxygen to do its job.

4. Incontinence

Many women suffer from incontinence after pregnancy or reproductive surgery. Adding poor posture can make it even worse. The extra pressure placed on your abdomen when you slouch also adds pressure to your bladder. This can decrease the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and make it more likely that you leak a little urine when you sneeze or laugh.

5. Back pain

Bad posture can weaken the muscles in your back, causing pain in your upper and lower back as well as your shoulders. Unfortunately, when we feel pain in our backs, we usually respond by sitting, slouching, or lying down, which only exacerbates the problem. Even though standing up straight doesn’t sound appealing when your back hurts, it’s essential if you want to ease your back pain.
Improve Your Posture Through Stretching
You can’t fix bad posture overnight. Correcting chronic poor posture takes time and a focused effort on strengthening the muscles in your body. Your core, shoulders, and back muscles can all be strengthened so that they can effectively support your body.

Frequent stretching can help you improve your posture so you can move more efficiently and feel better. It can also ease muscle soreness and tension in your lower back, which can help you sit and stand tall once again.

If you have been dealing with any of the above effects of bad posture, we can help! Schedule an appointment with the StretchSPOT to get started!

relaxed sleeping woman in white sheets

5 Ways to Sleep Better When You’re in Pain

It’s hard to sleep when your body is in pain. Whether you’re recovering from surgery, healing from an injury, or have chronic muscular pain and discomfort, you might struggle to find that perfect sleeping position that allows your body to get the rest it desperately needs.

The thing is, getting a good night’s rest starts well before you lay your head on the pillow. While you might not be able to control how your body feels at the end of the day, there are several things within your control that can help you get the rest you need.
5 Steps to A Good Night’s Rest
Here are five things you can do to get better sleep so you can be recharged and ready to face the day.

1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Having inconsistent bedtimes messes with your natural circadian rhythm, making it difficult for your brain and body to know when it’s time to rest and when you need to wake up.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This lets your body get into a routine so that you will naturally be sleepy when it’s time for bed.

2. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day

It’s easy to fall into a cycle of feeling groggy all day, then having caffeine in the afternoon that ends up keeping you up at night. Break the habit so you can get to bed without caffeine disrupting you.

Start gently. If you usually have a cup of coffee mid-afternoon, switch to green tea, which has less caffeine. Then, move to herbal tea, which has no caffeine but still allows you to have the same routine of drinking something midday.

3. Consider Getting a New Bed

Your mattress could be the culprit if you can’t get to sleep because of pain. Give it a close inspection. Look for lumps and slopes, which are a sure sign that your mattress has worn out its shelf life.

Before buying the first mattress you see, take the time to lie down on it and see how it feels. Consider your body type when shopping. Soft mattresses can keep your spine aligned if your hips are wider than your waist, while firm ones give more support when your hips are more in line with your waistline.

4. Look at your Medication

If you live with pain, you might take pain-relieving medication. However, some drugs, whether prescription or over the counter, can negatively affect your ability to sleep. Talk to your doctor to see if there’s another option.

5. Calm your Mind and Body Before Bed

Make stretching part of your pre-bed routine to calm down your mind and body. Gentle stretches can help release tension and pain. Spend 5 – 10 minutes at night doing stretches that feel good to you. They can change from day to day, depending on how your body feels and what it needs.

New to Stretching? We Can Help!

At StretchSpot, we help people from all walks of life perform their daily activities more efficiently and safely through stretching. If you’re having trouble sleeping because of muscular pain, let us know. Our professionals can help you find stretches that will ease your pain and promote better sleep. Book an appointment today to get started!

How Does Flexibility Affect Your Health?

The Impact of Flexibility Training on Your Health

Most people associate flexibility with dancing, performance art, sports, or yoga. It’s considered more of a skill than a health necessity. In this respect, people would be mistaken.

Flexibility (also limberness) is more than the ability to touch your toes and bend or contort your body in ways that most people cannot achieve. It is a component of physical fitness and an indication of a body’s range of movement. The more flexible you are, the more you can do.

While some people are born naturally limber, many have to work harder to condition their musculoskeletal systems to become more flexible. If you consider yourself as one of the latter, you’ll have much to gain if you work on improving your flexibility.

Why is Flexibility Important?

Exercises that make your body more limber also improve your posture, mobility, and muscle coordination. They strengthen your core, back, and neck muscles, too.

This is because stretching is a major part of flexibility training. Stretching exercises target muscle groups, flexing and stretching them to increase their elasticity and improve their form. These exercises also condition the joints, ligaments, and tendons to be stronger and allow a wider range of motion and better control of the bones and muscles.

The musculoskeletal improvements that develop when you do flexibility exercises on the regular can give you the following health benefits:

Better Posture

When you sit on a desk for hours at a time and working on your laptop, your torso may gradually give in to gravity and become increasingly curved. Often, you don’t even notice how much you’ve slumped forward towards your computer screen until you get a crick in your neck or your back starts feeling sore.

Your muscles shorten when you are in a slumped, hunch-backed position for extended periods. It causes the tight, sore sensation in the waist and pelvic area when you rise after sitting with a curved back for hours. Doing short, flexibility exercises in-between can help alleviate the pain and correct your posture the next time you sit back down.

Additionally, sports trainers say that flexibility training can improve the body’s overall shape. It’s what contributes to many athletes’ lean and toned figures.     

Reduced Risk of Certain Ailments and Diseases

It may not register immediately, but bad posture can lead to a host of health problems. Harvard Medical School cites the following as key examples of posture-related problems:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Heartburn
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Curved spine

Posture can also impact your mood and jaw alignment, according to Harvard.

Low Risk of Injuries

A stronger and more flexible body is more capable of withstanding physical stress. This is one of the reasons why contact sports athletes incorporate stretching into their daily exercises and pre-game training programs.

Stretching expands the muscle fibers and makes them more pliable, stronger, and responsive to fight-and-flight scenarios. It also strengthens the connective tissue that supports the muscles and internal organs. Hence, people who are flexible because of regular training have a low risk of obtaining physical injuries.

Less incidence of back pain

Chronic lower back pain is often caused by a tightness of the muscles (poor posture being one of its leading causes). Stretching is one of the most recommended therapies that address chronic pain. It can both prevent and heal an existing injury. Recall, too, that the circumstances leading to a person’s heightened flexibility — habitual exercise and training of targeted muscle groups — lower the risk for injuries that may cause chronic pain.

The work that you put into increasing your flexibility can have a positive impact on your health. The outcomes discussed above are worth the effort. Work with an experienced fitness trainer so that you’re sure you’re doing the correct flexibility exercises.

girl in downward dog pose

How Stretching Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety through Stretching

Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, things have no doubt gotten a lot harder than before. There’s no telling when or if life will go back to the way it was pre-pandemic. This is one of the rare eras in human history wherein the future is uncertain for everyone.

You probably spent the last months exploring all options to keep yourself and your family financially healthy. Hopefully, you’ve been giving the same level of attention to your health as well. If you haven’t, now is the best time to assess your physical and mental well-being — specifically, if stress and anxiety are plaguing your waking moments.

How Stress and Anxiety Harm Your Health

The American Brain Society calls chronic stress “the silent killer” because it leads to conditions that could develop into something more dangerous. For example, it is typical for a person who’s under stress to experience headaches and body pains. But if the stress persists, there could be another possible underlying cause: irregularity in the blood flow, which results in oxygen and nutrient deprivation in some areas of the body.

Here are some of the potentially serious conditions that medical researchers have linked to stress and anxiety:

  • Digestion problems
  • Weak immune system
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

It’s important, therefore, to manage your stress and anxiety as quickly as possible. One way to do this (without depending on medication) is by stretching.

What Does Stretching Do for Your Body?

Harvard Medical School has published many papers and articles touting exercise as a remedy to stress and anxiety. People who exercise experience behavioral changes that are boosted by chemical production in the brain. It works this way:

  • Exercise, in general, lowers adrenaline and cortisol — stress hormones that trigger the body to go into a “flight or fight” mode.
  • Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are responsible for the relaxed and positive outlook people have after completing a rigorous exercise routine or achieving their running goals (also called “runner’s high”).
  • Exercise loosens the muscles, encourages deep breathing, and improves blood circulation. These directly combat the physical symptoms of stress, such as painful back muscles, a clenched jaw, taut facial muscles, dry mouth, and tense posture. According to Harvard researchers, putting the body in a relaxed state through exercise can send calming signals to the mind. This approach can break the stress cycle and improve mental fitness.

Stretching is the ideal type of exercise because everyone can do it regardless of their fitness level. It’s a good start for those who don’t exercise, and those who already exercise a lot can still find satisfaction in it.

When you stretch, you:

  • Make your body and thoughts slow down. You can enter a meditative state and proactively reduce your mental stress.
  • Move all muscle groups, from your face to your extremities.
  • Discover the areas in your body that are tense and need more stretching.
  • Improve your balance, posture, and spinal alignment.
  • Become more aware of your mind and body.

The Best Exercise During Quarantine

One of the best things about stretching as an exercise is you can do it anytime, anywhere. With many gyms and fitness centers being closed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, stretching is one of the few exercises that are doable in your own home — in your work chair, even.

Dedicate as much time and effort in caring for your health as you do your business. After all, you become more alert, creative, and energized to work when you’re at your peak condition.

Check out this article for 8 Stretches for Your Best Night’s Sleep