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With the colder weather setting in and the stress of the holidays upon us, we are all holding more tension in our bodies than most of the rest of the year. To try and combat this, it is always a good idea to stretch as much as possible. Stretching can also help reduce the risk of you pulling a muscle and other injuries. There have been studies done which show that stretching daily may even lower you blood sugar and improve your balance. Here are some easy stretches you can do every day that will keep you alert and less stressed.
1. Touch Your Toes. Don’t worry if you can’t actually touch your toes, but if you continually stretch towards them, you may end up being able to! Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and let your torso hang loose while bending at the waist. Take a deep breath and let it out, you should drop a little lower. Do this until you feel a stretch in your legs and then hold it for a moment. Slowly roll back up with your head being the last thing to straighten. See how much better you feel?
2. Touch The Sky. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and raise your hands like you know the answer to a question in class. Hold that for a moment before reaching for an invisible bar just out of reach. If possible, go up onto the balls of your feet and hold this position for a couple of moments. This will help to stretch your back and your shoulders, which is where most people carry most of their stress.
3. Washing Machine. I’m not sure why this is called a washing machine stretch, but bear with me. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (always do this when stretching, it helps you keep your balance) and have your arms straight out at your sides like an airplane. Slowly move your arms in a clockwise direction, making bigger circles each time. Then switch to counter-clockwise and make smaller circles. After this, twist your torso as far around as possible slowly with your arms still out. Just make sure you have enough room to do this where you won’t hit anyone.
Stretching is something we really all should be doing each day. It helps to increase blood flow and keeps us alert. Try it for a week or two and see what it difference it makes!

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