5 Ways to squeeze in stretching on the go
You know that stretching is important, you’re aware that your desk job and all that driving is contributing to your bad posture, but setting aside 20 minutes a day on top of your long list of to-dos and deadlines just isn’t happening. I hear you. This short list lays out some creative ways to squeeze in stretching & mobility moves, that you can do throughout the day in bite size chunks. Move better, reduce your risk of muscle strain & pain while at work and feel more generally relaxed. Yes they are in public spaces but if the thought of stretching in front of strangers or your coworkers makes you cringe, think about how weird it used to be when someone pulled out their phone to take a picture… of themselves. We’ve all embraced the selfie so limbering up in public shouldn’t be a step too far!
1.Standing in a queue
More than we care to notice we find ourselves waiting in a queue, it could be waiting to pay for your coffee, your groceries or buy a ticket for the train. Whilst many may take the occasion to scroll through instagram and develop text neck, you could instead use this time to stretch yours! Slowly take your neck through all directions and when you notice a tight spot hold it there and wait for that “feel good release”. Your shoulders will feel lighter afterwards and it takes the agitation out of boring queues.
2. Waiting for Public Transport
Whether you’ve arrived early for your train or have just missed it and have to wait for the next one this is a great opportunity to squeeze in some stretches. You could be discreet and stretch your calves and do some basic ankle/wrist rolls. Or, you could be more elaborate in your choice of stretches, use a bench as a stretching prop for your hamstrings, lunge in to it for a hip flexor & groin stretch - needless to say be mindful of people around you!
Travelling is hard on your body, whether it’s sitting on a plane for a few hours or standing on the bus. Being stuck in the same position means some areas of your body become short and tight whilst others become overstretched and weakened, putting your muscles out of balance. Stand up and stretch your quads, or if you’re holding on to over head bars stretch your side body, you don’t even need to put your phone down.
4. Filling Car with Petrol
It probably takes just over a minute or 2 to fill up the gas tank in your car so not long, but enough to squeeze in some hip rolls and adductor stretches, especially if you’ve been sat in said car for a while. Stand with feet wide apart and take the hips around in big circles really feeling each muscle as you through the whole range of movements. Standing on one leg while you’re filling up is also a great way to work on your balance!
5. Waiting for the photocopying to complete
You’ve been sent to the photocopier to print of a million copies of some report to be issued to everyone in the office. This is a perfect time to squeeze in some stretching. Use a door frame to stretch your pecs or mobilise the spine with thoracic twists. If you’re caught talking to a co-worker get them to join you! You’ve both probably been stuck at your desks for hours and this is precious time to get some movement in to your body.
The running theme here is to notice when you're waiting for things to happen, or to arrive somewhere. This is the time to squeeze in a quick stretch. We’re switched on all the time and when we’re not dealing with work/family issues we’re taking respite in scrolling through social media, which is actually making us more miserable and yet another distraction from taking care of our selves. If there's a stretch that seems to attract an unusual amount of onlookers, you might want to retire that one. Also be mindful that you’re not an obstacle in high traffic areas or entering into someone personal space! Otherwise be creative and varied with your stretches, and these bite size chunks could easily add up to that 20 minutes worth.