Stretch for Better Health

If stretching is the last thing you think about doing at the end of your workout, you could be setting yourself up for injuries later.

Fitness Expert, Beth Oliver, joined us today to show how easy it is to fit a few stretches into our day.

Beth Oliver's Commercial Break Stretch Routine:

"Here are a few easy to do stretches that you can do nearly anywhere: in your living room during our commercial break, after a game of golf or tennis, or even in your cube at work.
We’ll start standing at end on the floor.  The only thing you will need is the pillow from your couch!"

1) Side body stretch: Stand with feet together, lift arms overhead and grab your left wrist with your right hand, lean to the right.  Stay long enough for 3 deep breaths.  Repeat to the other side.

2) Forward fold: this is a great stretch that targets 3 important groups: hamstrings, lower back and shoulders.  With feet hip width apart and knees very bent ( straighter legs if you are more flexible) bend forward at the waist and hang the torso forward with belly close to thighs.  Interlace hands ( or hold a towel) and drop the arms over head. Hold for 3 deep breaths

3) Standing quadriceps stretch: standing on left leg, hold right ankle in right hand. Draw knees close to each other and tuck hips slightly under.  Hold for three breaths and then change sides.

4) Low lunge hip stretch: Lunge with the right leg forward and the left knee down on the floor with a pillow underneath.  Your left knee should be slightly behind the hip rather than directly under it.  Shift weight slightly forward, keep shoulders over hips. Hold for three breaths.

a. Add A Twist: Bring left hand to outside of right knee and right hand around the back.  Hold for three breaths and then change sides.

5) Seated hip opener: sit on the floor with left leg extended long and right leg bent with ankle just above left knee.  Draw the left leg up to place the sole of the foot flat on the floor. Stay and hold for three breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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