Our body loses its flexibility with time. The muscles get filled with toxins and start refusing movement. This causes a number of problems over time. We slowly start accumulating fat. Athleticism goes for a toss and we start getting immobile. Flexibility in our muscles is an indication of good health. Normally, a loss of flexibility is indicative of many lifestyle diseases including coronary heart disease.
Here we discuss anytime body stretching exercises’ which can be practiced anywhere anytime. This goes a long way in maintaining general muscle flexibility which first of all gives a feeling of overall wellness. This prevents many of the lifestyle diseases and controls weight-gain.
It is important to maintain muscle strength besides flexibility. The list of exercises’ below helps in enhancing flexibility as well as strength of muscles. The best part is that it does not need any equipment to practice and can be done anywhere – whether you are at home, traveling in a train or simply on a business visit. Read on for some of the easiest but effective anytime body stretching exercises‘.
This is one of the easiest body stretching exercises’ known. It is such a simple exercise in Yoga that even small children master it with ease. Primarily it is a leg-stretching exercise but effects the spinal cord as well.
The way of practicing Butterfly is to sit with legs folded in front of you and both feet joined. Hold the feet with your hands and move your knees up and down. Both the knees should raise and fall simultaneously. By holding your feet with your hands, the spinal chord is stretched. The simultaneous movement of both knees stretches the thigh and calf muscles and you feel relaxed.
It can be practiced anytime and anywhere. However, it is wonderful as a wake-up stretch exercise. Or butterfly exercise after a long day is relaxing to the muscles.
Butterfly due to its simplicity is the best anytime body stretching exercise. Practicing it daily builds flexibility in the thigh and calf muscles. This is of special interest for women where thighs are most fat accumulating part of the body and this stretch exercise helps to control it.
It is recommended to consciously follow butterfly exercise at least twice a day, while traveling or whenever you are simply sitting idle.
I have included a Youtube video here for easy visual illustration.
The Mill Churning Pose
The Mill Churning Pose stretching exercise resembles the action of manual churning of equipment to powder grains. This is a wholesome body exercise and stretches the leg muscles, arms and spine. This is the best recommended if one desires to control fat accumulation besides keeping muscles flexible. This is another simple anytime body stretching exercise.
The method of practicing this exercise is to sit with extended legs in front of you. The hands are then clasped together. Stretch your arms to reach the foot. Reach out to the other foot in a circular motion. Then, follow the clasped hands back towards your tummy sitting upright and then pullling back. All motion should be circular. Continue in circular motion for twenty cycles.
Sit in a comfortable place to practice this exercise. A yoga mat on a hard surface is the best. Else, this can be practiced on a grassy park. That is the best way to enjoy this stretch exercise as well as enjoying the fresh air in the park.
Practice the mill churning pose stretching exercise regularly and you will observe reduction is fat around the waist and thigh – key areas where fat accumulates, specially in women. It is a great and simple stretching exercise which can be done anywhere and anytime.
I am including a YouTube video link here for visual explanation of how to do this exercise.
The Tree Pose
One of the first Yoga lessons is to stretch in Tree Pose. This anytime body stretching exercise is again free of equipment and can be done anywhere and anytime. Though this is a must Yoga pose, but very easy to practice once you get used to it. It not only stretches the muscles, but develops a sense of balance – very important for mental balance.
The Tree Pose is known as “Vrikshasana” in Sanskrit. Vriksh stands for Tree and Asana for pose. The form of exercise is as the name reveals. It stretches the spine completely throughout from the base of waist all the way to the neck and head. Besides, it stretches the thigh and calf muscles.
The method of practicing this exercise looks difficult to begin with. Stand on one leg and place the other on the thigh of leg on which you are standing. Raise both your arms stretching fully with your biceps touching both ears. Keep standing in balancing position. It is very difficult to maintain balance with starting off, so use support to prevent falling. But with practice, you will be proud on attaining balance. Then change to the other leg.
The Tree Pose is a bit difficult to start with but one can practice with ease on regular practice. Again this can be practiced anywhere and anytime. There is no need to any equipment in this exercise. Practice this exercise regularly to stretch your spine, thighs and calf muscles besides developing a sense of balance.
The Japanese Sitting Pose
The easiest of the body stretching exercises is the Japanese Sitting Pose. It is interested in the way that I heard a reference to it during the lock down due to COVID-19. It is actually a wholesome leg stretch and self-massaging exercise. Besides, the spine also experiences stretch during the practice.
The Japanese Sitting Pose is known as “Vajrasan” in Sanksrit. Vajra stands for thunderbolt like that of Thor and Asana means pose. The pose is like being in a pose of thunderbolt. Like the name says, it effects on legs, thighs, spine and stomach makes the body like a thunderbolt.
The method of practicing the Japanese Sitting pose is to sit with both legs together folded inside with your body on top of it. Stretch your spine upright and place both hands on each knee. Sit on a soft surface or yoga mat as the knee tend to hurt in this position.
The reference to lock down in COVID-19 was due to its effect equivalent to twenty minutes of walking if practiced for even 5 minutes. It is a good anytime exercise and can be followed whenever you are sitting idle.
The above four body stretching exercises’ have been listed as they are the most simple to practice. I practice all the them on a regular basis to keep the muscles flexible. With flexibility comes overall wellness.
I strongly recommend practicing them on a regular basis – be it on business travel or simply relaxing at home.
Please leave your opinion and experience on these exercises’ above. Also, watch out this space for more articles on wellness.