IDEAS: Be Active and Stretch

Your goal is to be active today. If you have your own exercise routine, stick with it. Think about the shape you are in today and how you feel and how much further you will be tomorrow if you get active and stretch.
If you don't have a routine, there are plenty of options to be active and stretch and get in shape. Try these suggestions today to get you started.

1. 50 Crunches

Lie on your back with your arms crossed over your chest and your knees slightly bent. Raise your upper body off the floor by contracting your abdominal muscles. Touch your elbows to your thighs and repeat.

2. Full body stretch (2 Minutes)

Neck Stretch

Slowly turn your head to the left, right, up, and down as though you were nodding "yes" and "no." Be careful not to raise, lower, or rotate your neck too far. Neck injury can occur if this stretch is not performed in a slow and relaxed fashion.

Arm / Shoulder Stretch

Drop your shoulders and hold your right arm out in front of you. With the opposite arm, gently pull your right arm across your chest and hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.

Chest / Upper Back Stretch

Stand with your arms extended and parallel to the floor. Slowly pull your elbows back as far as you can an interlock your fingers behind you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and stick your chest out. Hold for 15 seconds. Then round your back and bring your shoulders forward. This stretches the opposing muscle groups of the chest and upper back.

Triceps / Back Stretch

Place both arms over and behind your head. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and pull your elbow toward the opposite shoulder. Lean your torso in the direction of the pull. Repeat with the other arm.

Calf Stretch into Achilles Tendon Stretch

Stand with one foot two to three feet in front of the other, with both feet pointing forward. Put most of your body weight on your back leg, stretching the calf muscle. Now bend the rear knee slightly. You should now feel the stretch in your heel. This stretch helps prevent Achilles tendonitis, a severe injury that will sideline most people for about four to six weeks.

Hamstring Stretch #2 (Advanced)

Take a large step forward with one leg. Drop your chest to your knee and place your hands on the floor. Hold for ten seconds. Then try to straighten your front leg for another ten seconds, keeping your hands on the floor.

Thigh Stretch

Lie on your side, bend your knee and grab your foot at the ankle. Put your heel to your butt and push your hips forward. Tighten your butt cheeks and keep your knees close together. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat with the other leg. This stretch can also be done standing.

ITB Stretch #1

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Bring one leg to your chest and bend it at the knee so that your foot is placed outside your opposite leg's thigh. Hold your knee for 15 seconds against your chest and repeat with the other leg.

Cobra Ab Stretch

Lie on your stomach and push yourself up to your elbows, lifting your chest off the ground. Slowly lift your head and shoulders and look up at the sky or ceiling. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat two times.

ITB Stretch #2

Lie on your back with your left leg crossed over your right leg and pull it toward you with both hands around the thigh or shin. Repeat with the other leg

Exerpts from Healthy Mind and Body Program

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