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Blog > 3 Ways to Enhance Your Flexibility for Greater Energy

3 Ways to Enhance Your Flexibility for Greater Energy

Simple stretching practices to weave into your workday
Businesswoman stretching at desk

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If advancing your career and stepping into a leadership position are priorities for you, then you understand the significance of consistently bringing your full energy to work. But, have you considered whether aspects of your lifestyle might be sapping your vitality?

You’re probably familiar with the influence of sleep patterns and nutritional choices on your energy levels, but the role of physical flexibility might not be as obvious. Let’s explore six ways in which physical flexibility can affect your energy and simple strategies to enhance your flexibility during the workday.

6 Ways Flexibility Can Boost Your Energy

Health Coach Elaine Moen emphasizes the pivotal role of flexibility. She asserts that “Flexibility is a catalyst for mobility and exercise; with consistent exercise, you’ll notice an increase of energy throughout all other areas of your life,” Having a regular exercise routine leads to a noticeable surge in energy across various aspects of life. Delving into specifics, these six distinct ways highlight the transformative impact of physical flexibility on one’s physicality, ultimately contributing to elevated energy levels.

1. Improved Circulation

According to The Ohio State University, stretching comes with myriad benefits, including increased blood flow, increased oxygen levels, and easier delivery of nutrients to different parts of the body. According to Harvard Health, improved oxygen circulation equals better energy production and more efficient energy usage.

2. Decreased Stress

If there’s one thing that can wreak havoc on your energy levels, it’s not being able to properly deal with or alleviate stress. The good news? Studies have found that flexibility exercises can be used to not only alleviate stress but help you build stress resilience and lower the risk of mental illness such as depression.

3. Improved Sleep Quality

It’s widely understood that the quality of your sleep directly affects your energy levels. If you’re struggling with restful sleep, incorporating flexibility-enhancing exercises such as stretching can be beneficial. The Sleep Foundation suggests that these activities can not only help you fall asleep faster but also improve the quality of sleep you experience.

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4. Better Posture

Medical News Today highlights that stretching, the key activity for enhancing physical flexibility, can lead to better posture. Furthermore, RUSH University Medical Center points out a connection between proper posture and emotional well-being. Adopting good posture can not only elevate your mood but also increase your energy levels.

5. Increased Endorphin Release

According to Healthline, engaging in flexibility exercises such as stretching can prompt your body to release endorphins, which play a role in diminishing pain and enhancing mood. The Cleveland Clinic elaborates that these endorphins, by mitigating stress and boosting mood, can help tackle factors that might otherwise deplete your energy.

6. Enhanced Overall Fitness

Finally, incorporating flexibility exercises is essential for a comprehensive fitness regimen. Harvard Health indicates that a balanced approach to exercise, which includes flexibility workouts, can significantly elevate your energy levels.

3 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Flexibility During the Workday

So, if you want to experience all these energy-related health benefits from increasing your flexibility, how can you do so without spending extra time at the gym or without carving out an hour from your busy schedule to attend a yoga class?

Turns out, you can do just a few simple exercises during your workday, to enhance your flexibility with ease. All these exercises can help not only boost your flexibility but also help alleviate some of the issues you may see with prolonged sitting at your desk, day after day.

However, as you embark on your effort to increase energy levels via flexibility, Health Coach, Amanda Deak, warns, “It’s important to be patient with your practice. It’s not about how far [or] deep you can go, or how flexible you think you are, but to recognize the small steps in caring for your body and energy levels. Simply noticing the length of your spine and how it stacks upon itself can encourage better posture and energy.”

Here’s how to get started:

1. Desk Stretches

Begin with some simple desk stretches. These can be conveniently done right from your office chair, without the need to stand up.

  • Neck stretch: Gently tilt your head from side to side and forward and back to relieve tension.
  • Shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders in circular motions to reduce tension in the upper back and shoulders.
  • Wrist and forearm stretch: Stretch your wrists by extending your arm and then gently pulling back on your fingers with the other hand.
  • Ankle circles: Lift your feet slightly off the ground and rotate your ankles in circular motions.
  • Seated forward bend: Sit up straight and hinge at your hips to reach toward your toes, stretching your hamstrings and lower back.

2. Chair Yoga

Although a comprehensive yoga practice provides numerous advantages, including enhanced mindfulness, you can still reap some benefits with a brief session of chair yoga at your desk.

Experiment with seated yoga postures like a seated twist, seated figure 4 pose, or a seated cat-cow stretch. There are yoga apps and resources available that guide you through these poses, which don’t demand any special expertise or equipment, not even a yoga mat.

Here are some examples:

  • Seated forward bend: Extend your legs in front, sit tall, and hinge at your hips to reach toward your toes, promoting a gentle stretch in the hamstrings and lower back.
  • Chair cat-cow stretch: While seated, arch your back on an inhale and round it on an exhale, mimicking the cat-cow movement from traditional yoga to enhance spinal flexibility.
  • Seated twist: Sit with a straight spine, then twist your torso to one side, using the back of the chair for support. This move helps release tension in the spine and promotes flexibility.
  • Chair pigeon pose: Cross one ankle over the opposite knee while sitting, maintaining an upright posture. Gently press down on the crossed knee to deepen the stretch in the outer hip and thigh.

3. Mini Breaks

Flexibility isn’t only about engaging in structured exercises like yoga; it can also be about incorporating simple movements into your daily routine. Consider how frequently you take time to stand up from your desk and stretch.

Instead of staying seated and hunched over your laptop for extended periods, commit to taking a brief break every hour. Stand up, take a short walk, and stretch your limbs to ward off stiffness and boost circulation.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for optimal performance. To take comprehensive care of your body, make sure to weave flexibility exercises into your everyday routine.

Looking for additional support? Download our Habit Coach app to establish a routine of stretching and improving your flexibility throughout the year.

Get actionable tips to help you energize and reprioritize self-care. Sign up for The Wellness Return newsletter today.

By providing your email address, you agree to receive email communication from Arootah

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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