As the temperature drops and daylight hours shorten, finding the motivation to exercise is challenging, especially when most time is spent inside. While your exercise routine may not be as extensive or frequent in the winter as it is during warmer months, it’s important to your mental and physical health to continue moving your body. Incorporating these simple stretches into your daily routine, before/after exercise or on its own, can help keep muscles limber and improve your mood.
For additional inspiration to keep your body moving and flexible, check out these stretches to perform before activity, and after activity. Enjoy!
- Start by standing in front of a wall or other sturdy object.
- Step forward with one foot and keep your toes on both feet pointed straight forward. Keep the leg behind you with a straight knee during the stretch.
- Lean forward towards the wall and support yourself with your arms as you allow your front knee to bend until a gentle stretch is felt along the back of your leg that is behind you.
- Move closer or further away from the wall to control the stretch of the back leg. You can adjust the bend of the front knee to control the stretch as well.
- Stand upright with your heel on a step or sturdy chair.
- Keeping your trunk and back straight, lean forward at your hips until you feel a stretch on the back of your thigh.
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
Single Knee to Chest
- Pull one knee up to your chest, as close as comfortably possible, until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
- Keep the opposite leg relaxed and in a comfortable position, either with your knee bent or with your leg extended.
- Hold for about 30 seconds.
Lower Trunk Rotations
- Lie on the ground and bend your knees while engaging your core.
- Rotate your knees from side to side. As you rotate, you’ll feel the stretch in your obliques, abs and lower back.