© iStock

© iStock

The best stretches to soothe post-holiday season pain

Start the New Year off pain-free!

The busy holiday season may be over, but we’re sure it left a lasting memory on your body. Stress makes your muscles tense up, which causes aches and pains. Luckily there are ways to loosen the kinks, like taking a relaxing warm bath and doing a few simple stretches.

Foot flex

Why you should do this stretch: According to the College of Podiatry, 75-80% of the adult population has some sort of foot problem. Those issues can get aggravated over the holiday season from wearing too many high heeled shoes, cooking up a storm, and running to and from different stores to shop for different gifts.

How to do it: Lower yourself down to the ground, until you’re balancing on your toes. Slowly sit down on your heels. You’ll feel a deep stretch throughout your feet. If the pressure becomes too much, place your hands on either side of your body, or in front of you. Hold this pose for at least one minute.

Seated toe touch

Why you should do this stretch: Tight hamstrings can put strain on other parts of your body, like your lower back. A seated toe touch will gently stretch and loosen your hamstrings.

How to do it: Sit down on the ground, extend your legs out in front of you and straighten your back. Lean forward from your pelvis towards your toes, until you feel a light tug on the backs of your legs. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds, take a break, and repeat two times.

Top tip: If your hamstrings gave you lower back pain, Iyengar yoga poses, like sphinx pose, can help relieve it.

Neck side stretch

Why you should do this stretch: One of the places people hold – and feel – stress the most is in their upper body. And even when we’re not feeling anxious, we put stress on our neck by looking down at our phones and computer screens and slouching when we sit and walk.

How to do it: Sit in a chair in a comfortable position and place your hands on your thighs. Gently tilt your head towards your right shoulder until you feel a slight pull and hold for 10-15 seconds. Return your head to the center and repeat the movement on your left side.

These stretches only take a few minutes to do a day, and they will help relax your muscles and prevent any further pain down the line!

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