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Stretching and Exercising At Work Guide

March 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 175

Stretching and Exercises Guide

If you have spent much time around cats, you might already be well aware of the benefits that can come from frequent bouts of brief and gentle stretching. For instance, they sleep in one position for several hours, wake up and do a bit of yawning and stretching and then begin wandering about without seeming to encounter any difficulties in terms of easy and fluid movement. This is because they do this sort of stretching throughout each day and night, and when people must remain stationary for hours on end, it helps to emulate a cat. In other words, it is tremendously beneficial to get up and stretch out from time to time throughout the day.

Even if you can't get up from the workstation or office chair in order to stretch, we are going to show you some handy ways of giving your muscles, circulatory system and brain a boost through simple stretching and movement. These movements are going to become an essential part of your day because they will enhance your mood, clear your mind, greatly reduce incidences of back or muscle ache, and always deliver a nice "lift" to your energy levels.

Why Stretching works

Why will stretching be so useful for you? Let's consider what stretching really means. For instance, stretching can be:

  • Lifting the arms towards the ceiling to elongate them and the torso;
  • Placing the hands flat on the floor and lengthening the "hamstrings";
  • Clasping your hands to stretch wrists and forearms;
  • Lifting legs to stretch the calf muscles;
  • Laying down on the floor and extending the arms and legs as far as possible to stretch them and the "core" of the body;
  • A lot more!

Circulatory Benefits

Of course, stretching "works" for the body because it enhances circulation too. For instance, the Mayo Clinic (2011, Mayo Clinic), agrees that stretching "increases blood flow to the muscle". What happens is actually very simple...the contractions that occur as you stretch trigger a circulatory response. This brings blood to the muscles being used, but there is another benefit - nutrients are carried to the muscle and waste is carried away. This means that you feel better immediately after stretching because the body is cleaning up any accumulated junk, but it also means that an injury is healed faster if you stretch the muscles that have been damaged.

So, as you stretch you are improving the circulation, and relaxing some of the underlying tendons and muscles. You are also ensuring that you reduce the risks of injury by keeping yourself as "limber" as possible too.

The Symptoms of Bad Circulation

We have already looked at the way that stretching at work can improve circulation to the muscles, and how this carries in nutrients while simultaneously removing toxins. This, as we know, helps to speed up the healing process, but it does a lot more. It is easier to understand how stretching can address bad circulation if we first understand the many "symptoms" associated with it.

When we say that someone has "poor circulation" it can be due to many things. They could have a heart condition, diabetes, low thyroid function, or simply lead a very "sedentary" lifestyle stuck at a desk all day. Any way you look at the situation, however, you have to appreciate that stretching can often help with the worst symptoms of the condition.

For instance, the following are often symptoms that need to be addressed:

  • Chronically cold hands or feet;
  • Frequent incidences of cramping (even when asleep);
  • Swelling in feet, hands or legs;
  • Varicose or "spider" veins in the legs;
  • Cramping when doing physical activity; and
  • Skin that turns pale or "blue" quickly.

Clearly, none of these things can be seen as life threatening, but they are uncomfortable, unattractive and a bit annoying. Fortunately you can often address them easily with periodic rounds of stretching added to the workday, and the non-working hours too!

You can use these results to improve circulation, well being and mental clarity. You can boost energy and even your appearance. Now are you ready to stretch?

Source: Mayo Clinic Staff. "Stretching: Focus on Flexibility." 2011. Mayo Clinic. 2012. offers a free ebook and guide, as well an invitation to all to discuss your experiences on our community page at

Luke Norman is the author of "Stretching, Exercising, and Being Happier in the Workplace" and the founder of

Source: EzineArticles
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