Thriving Blog & Magazine
90 Days to a Healthier You: Physical & Mental Stretching is Good for You
Danielle Lambert
Lifestyle Medicine Monthly Challenge

Can you believe it’s October? I’m pretty pumped for the holiday season… Fun and friends and family gatherings, it’s such a special time to make memories.

Along with all the wonderful things this season has to offer, it comes with its fair share of stressors for everyone. When we’re stressed and extra busy on top of it, we tend to forget about one very important thing: Our self-care. Make a plan now to set yourself up for a less stressful holiday season and a more successful New Year.

You have 90 days until January 1, so get your list of self-care go-tos and make a commitment now to prioritize your health.

One small thing I have committed to for self-care is a stretching routine.

Stretching requires little effort and you can do it without any equipment, anywhere. The simple act of stretching your body can help improve how you feel physically and mentally.

Physically stretching helps keep your muscles working at optimal level by helping you stay flexible and having a full range of motion in your muscles and joints.

For example, if you sit at a desk all day, your hamstrings are spending a lot of time in a shortened position and become tight. This can cause your movements to be restricted and even painful.

After sitting for long periods of time, you may find it slightly difficult to fully straighten your legs and feel a pulling sensation around your knees as your muscles resist the movement.

Tight muscles can also lead to numbness and nerve pain caused by muscle tissue compressing nerve pathways.

Pain and stiffness aren’t the only things you are at risk for without proper movement. With your muscles restricted, trying to use them to their full potential puts you at higher risk for injury.

Take breathing stretches throughout the day

Mentally stretching gives you the time to pause and meditate as your focus goes only to intentional breathing and elongating shortened muscles.

It has been shown to produce an increase in the “feel-good hormone,” serotonin. Serotonin helps to stabilize your mood and reduces stress, which can help decrease depression and anxiety. You can’t go wrong with better, safer movement and a proven stress reducer.

Stretching is so easy to do daily.

We need to stop thinking of stretching as just for runners and athletes, and understand that it’s good for everyone. It will give you the greatest benefit to your mental and physical well being when done daily and not just at the gym before a workout.

Good luck with your 90-day plan for a healthier you. If you are looking for help on how to stretch safely, our team is here to guide you. Our physical therapists, massage therapists and fitness coaches are all excellent sources for helping you develop a safe stretch routine. Ask your Thrive professional today!

Thriving Magazine October 2022 Issue 16

Thriving Magazine • Issue 16

Our October issue looks how we can make positive changes in our mindset and behaviors over the last 90 days of the year so we're starting 2023 with a head start (and skipping the resolutions!). Enjoy!

Articles are written by our experts in physical therapy, fitness training, chiropractic care. nutrition, massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and energy healing.