Stretch, Sleep & Breathe — for a better you in 2018

It’s a new year and many people are thinking  about making resolutions. Many resolutions can be hard to keep, but our friends at Athletico have some great advice for making small changes on a daily basis to increase your wellbeing and prevent injury.

#1 — Change your sleeping habits. Poor sleeping posture and jaw clenching can decrease quality of sleep and lead to headaches and soreness throughout the day. Sleep with a neutral spine by placing pillows under your knees if you sleep on your back or between your legs if you sleep on your side to avoid putting pressure on nerves.

#2 — Wake up your muscles: Stretching before getting out of bed will help you increase blood flow and prepare muscles for activity. Wake up with a lower trunk rotation stretch while on your back, with knees bent and together, feet flat. Slowly rock the knees back and forth to loosen up your muscles for the day ahead.

#3 —  Practice good posture. Many of us spend hours on end slouching in a desk chair or slumped forward looking down at smart phones. Pinch your shoulder blades back behind you, as if trying to touch your elbows. Once you are back as far as you can go, hold this position for 5 seconds before relaxing. Repeat this 10-15 times.

#4 — Keep moving. Help counteract the negative side effects from a sedentary lifestyle by taking a short break every 30 minutes. Keep a small cup of water at your desk and to get up to refill often this will help you stay hydrated while getting more steps in.

#5 —  Full Breaths: Stay mindful of breathing throughout the day. Instead of short, shallow breathes, breathe through your belly to see your abdomen rise and fall. This increases the amount of oxygen you receive during the day, which can help boost energy while reducing stress.

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