The benefits of daily stretching go far beyond flexibility. Daily stretching can relieve and prevent aches and pains. It sends more blood to the muscles, helping them to heal more quickly. It also releases stress. However, many people are unaware of the benefits of stretching and consider it unnecessary and unimportant. As the body ages, daily stretching becomes even more important. It is therefore important to make time each day for stretching.


Many people carry excess stress in the neck muscles resulting in neck pain, stiffness, and even headaches. Adding several neck stretches to your daily routine can bring relief.
Exercise: In a standing or seated position, lower the left ear toward the left shoulder. Place the left hand on the right side of the head and gently stretch the neck a little further. Breathe deeply while completing this stretch. Repeat on the other side. Always remember to carry out neck exercises slowly and gently.

Upper Back 

The upper back also suffers from carrying the weight of stress. 
Exercise: Stretch the upper back by clasping the hands in front of the sternum (middle of your chest). Turn the hands inside out as you straighten the arms and press the palms away from the body. Make sure to round the upper back. Imagine you are trying to increase the distance between your shoulder blades. Drop the head looking down to isolate the stretching in your upper back. Resist the urge to hold your breath while completing this stretch.

Tightness in the chest muscles complicates the problems of tight neck muscles and upper back strain. 
Exercise: Stretch the chest muscles in a standing or seated position, using a towel or stretching strap. Grasp the towel behind the back. Keep the hands as close together as is comfortable. Straighten the arms, lifting them up and away from the body. Lift the chin and point the face up to the ceiling. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds. 

Lower Back 
Long hours sitting or standing at work can put strain on the lower back, resulting in pain and soreness. Stretching can help relieve this problem. 
Exercise: Start with a flattened back on your hands and the knees. Make sure the hands are placed directly under the shoulders and the knees are placed directly under the hips. In this neutral position, keep the eyes gazing at the floor beneath you. Pulling the belly button up toward the spine, round the back up. Point the tail bone to the ground and look at the thighs. In a fluid motion, arch the back down, pointing the tail bone up and looking at the ceiling. Repeat this sequence several times.

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