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Stretching Survival Guide for Your Break!

If your job is anything like mine, time during the day just flies by! Before I know it, I only have 30 minutes until it’s time to wrap up for the day. Usually when the clock strikes 4 pm, the reality hits me that I’ve barely moved from my comfy orange chair. The realization hits me hard when I get up and feel that my back is sore and my neck is tight from all of that intense computer work during the day. At 4:30 pm, I get up just to get into my car, drive home and sit for another five hours while I do my homework and study. At the end of the night, it feels like my tight hips are screaming at me. By this point, I’m mad at myself for not getting up more often during the day to stretch. As a full time student and working full time, I have come to realize just how important taking stretch breaks is!

How/why it is essential to stretch during study/work breaks!

Making flexibility a habit in one’s daily life routine is essential in preventing aches, pains and other health issues. Stretching our bodies should be done by every individual (not only gymnasts and runners) to attain independence and protect mobility.

Importance & Related Health Issues:

Every day we progress a bit more than the day before. As time flies we are becoming more educated and technology is becoming an essential part of our life. Of course, that means more education for students at the school, more workload in companies’, etc. with deadlines reaching, students most of the time lose focus on them and do not even think about stretching out their muscles while taking a small study break. If they even decide to take a break, it’s mostly just laying on the bed and scrolling around on their phone. Stretching during break helps one to refocus and recharge to get back to his work.

Stretching is as important during study break as it is for any workplace, any gym or playing field. The neurological system is positively affected by it as the blood pressures, and heart rate is appropriately regulated which tends to rise when under stress.

Without stretching your muscles, you might face health issues like muscle tightness, high heart rate and blood pressure under stress, neck pain, hamstring tightness, dull back pain, disturbed focus and brain function with an inability to concentrate back into the work. Hence, flexion and extension of such muscles are entirely necessary to prevent them from becoming stiff and to relax them as much as possible.

Moreover, physical movements during study breaks help students increase their IQ and get back on track. Also, before performing some dynamic exercises make sure that your body is warmed up. It is vital that the body warmed up properly before stretching as to show some progressive movements.

Below are some dynamic stretches that you can efficiently perform while sitting down or standing up next to your favorite studying place!

Recommended stretch exercises:

Here are some of my favorite stretches to do on my work and study breaks. Some of them you don’t even have to get out of your chair to do!

  • Neck Tilt: Reach your head towards your shoulder on each side one by one with hands hanging sideways and repeat. Hold each angle for 30 seconds.

  • Finger Stretch: With all of that typing, it is inevitable for your hands and fingers to cramp up. Make a fist and stretch out. Repeat five times with each hand.

  • Arm Circles: Move your arms in circles slowly after extending them out. Do this ten times and reverse the direction. Your core and back should be straight.

  • Trunk-Twist: Twist your trunk after standing straight with a gap between the feet (approx. a shoulder width). At the same time, pivot the left foot as well. Repeat this in the opposite direction which is rotating the right foot and twisting to the left. With this twist, arms should also swing simultaneously.

  • Hip Flexor Stretch: Drive your hip forward and your knee into the ground. Bend your extended knee and transfer your weight onto that front right leg. Continue to lower yourself slowly into the lunge until your left knee hovers just above the ground. Your right knee should be directly above your right ankle. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate sides.

With countless benefits coming your way of stretching during study breaks, you should make a habit to stretch while reading books or exam preparation to enhance learning and focus. Group studies should not be an excuse either. Sharing such activity with friends and involving them for the greater good is fun and you can even turn it into a challenge!

I recognize how hard it can be to remember to get up and stretch, especially when you’re zoned in on a project or task. That’s why I’ve come up with some tips to help you get up and stretch during your break! 

  • Set a timer every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and stretch!
  • Find an excuse to get up more often such as going to talk to a co-worker or fill up your water glass.
  • Take a quick walk during your lunch break. This is great for your mental and physical health.

At Lilly PT, we are experts in developing a home exercise program that is tailored just to you and your needs. Other than Physical Therapy, we also offer a Medical Fitness program to help you reach your goals. Learn more about our Medical Fitness program here or call (425) 224-2476 to schedule a Medical Fitness consultation for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

Written By: Dina Kandzic / Marketing Assistant and a Guest Writer

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