Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday is back, fresh off of a week vacation, due to training. This past Sunday, I ran the Delaware Half Marathon... Yes, yes, I know... You already knew that. But coming off of such a tough race and workout, I've been stretching my muscles both morning and night (& sometimes in between). I already stretch every night with a little bedtime yoga routine, to help release the stress of the day before going to bed... But I need more after Sunday!  This week's Wellness Wednesday tip is to Stretch. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, hardcore athlete, or a couch potato.... Stretch!  Keeping your body and muscles limber will aide in your overall wellness and stress levels.  Take your time and enjoy the stretch, most importantly, don't forget to breathe!

Here are some 'wake me up' stretches for the morning:
  • Chest stretch. Sitting on your knees or cris-cross Applesauce, back straight, reach your hands behind you, & clasp. Now, lift your clasped hands as high as you can, squeeze your shoulder blades together, open your chest. Hold for 5 breaths.
  • Forward Fold w/ a knee. Take a deep breath in, as you exhale bend at the waist and bring your head towards your knees. Drop your hands/fingertips to the floor. Hold for a few breaths. Then bend one knee, while trying to straighten the other. Hold for 5 breaths, and switch.
  • Leaning mountain. Standing, try to reach your hands to the ceiling. Grab the right wrist with the left hand, now lean towards the left corner of the ceiling. Hold for 5 breaths and switch sides.
  • Neck Stretch.  This simple stretch can be done standing or seated, just make sure your back is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed.  Tilt your head to one side, ear towards shoulder (but don't shrug your shoulder to make them touch), hold for a few breaths, then switch sides.
Here are some 'help me sleep' bedtime stretches:
  • Seated Forward Fold. Sitting on your bed or floor. Stretch legs out in front of you, slight bend in knee. Inhale arms up above head, and exhale folding over your legs. Reaching for your toes. Hold for 5 breaths.
  • Spine Twist. From seated forward fold, sit up straight, bend right leg, cross & place right foot over left straight leg. Twist toward right leg, holding for 5 breaths, switch legs.
  • Knee Hug. Lay flat on your back. Bring both knees into your chest, and hug. Hold for 5 or so breaths.
  • Laying Twist. Laying on your back, knees bent over your hips. Let them fall to one side, arms out to the side, turn your head the opposite way of your legs. Hold for 5 breaths. Return legs to center, then repeat on other side.

For more stretches and flexibility exercises, check out Stretch and Improve Your Flexibility.

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