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Stretching is just as important as exercise. The benefits include managing stress, emotions and high energy levels. It also helps with calming our minds, flexibility and blood flow.
This activity is a great way for both adults and children to bond together. This can be performed both indoors/outdoors and is great as a stand alone activity or just before you participate in a physical activity.
There are a number of stretches which can benefit different parts of the body. Here a few that help with some core parts.
1. Side seat straddle stretch:
Sit down on the floor, with your legs in front of you. Spread your legs apart, keeping them straight at all times. Hold your right shin with both hands and hold for 20 seconds. Move onto your left shin and hold again with both hands. Hold this position for 20 seconds. (This can be done sitting in front of each other, like a mirror).
2. Quadricep stretch:
Stand up straight, holding onto a wall or chair for balance.Slowly bending from the knee, use your right hand and pull your right foot towards your bottom. Hold this position for a few seconds. Move onto your left hand and again repeat with your left foot. (For an extra challenge, try and let go of whatever you are holding on to).
3. Cross body shoulder stretch:
Stand straight with your feet inline with your shoulders.Raise your right arm (inline with your shoulder) and move it across your chest towards the left. Use your left arm to hold your right arm in position, this can be done with the inside of the left elbow. Hold this position for a few seconds. Move over and perform the same stretch with the left arm, using the right arm for assistance.
4. Tricep stretch:
This stretch can be performed from a standing or seated upright position. Raise your right hand and bring it behind you, touching your left shoulder blade (just below your neck). Hold this position for a few seconds. Move over to your left. Raise your left hand and bring it behind you, touching your right shoulder blade (again, just below your neck).