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Stretching

Stretching

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Definition

Stretching every day can improve your mood, and physical performance.

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How to Do It

Static stretches involve holding your body in a position that causes muscles to stretch. During dynamic stretches, you are always in motion.

Static Stretch Example: Interlock your fingers with your palms facing away from your chest. Then push your hands away from your chest to stretch your upper back muscles. Hold this pose for 8-12 seconds. 

Dynamic Stretch Example: rotate your arms forward and backward in a circular motion. This should stretch your shoulders.

Look online for more examples of static and dynamic stretches. You should do both types.

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Benefits 

  • May increase physical performance and help prevent injuries[6]
  • May relieve stress[2] and anxiety[1]
  • May improve focus[1]
  • May increase productivity[4]
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Time Commitment 

5-10 minutes

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Why it works

  • You hold tension in your muscles, which causes/maintains stress. Stretching releases tension in your muscles, thereby making you less stressed, and anxious[5].
  • It has been suggested that a reduction in anxiety is what causes improved focus after stretching[1].
  • A general improvement in mood is associated with productivity[4], and stretching improves mood (anxiety, stress and focus).
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Suggested Frequency

Daily

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Side Effects 

  • Immediately after static stretching, muscle strength can be temporarily lost[3]. 
  • Stretching too far can cause unnecessary discomfort. Do not stretch past a comfortable position.
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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it 

Madonna

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Oprah

Ryan Reynolds

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Rating 

Recommended Habit

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Category Health/Productivity/Mood:

  • Mood
  • Productivity 
  • Health
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Notes 

  • Stretching can be incorporated into a mindfulness routine to enhance mental benefits.
  • If you enjoy stretching, why not try yoga or pilates?
  • If stretching before exercise, focus on dynamic stretches so that you don’t lose your strength. 

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Category

 Mood  Stress  Health  AntiAging  Fitness  Productivity  Focus
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