GENERICO.ruMedicine5 effective stretches for the cold season

5 effective stretches for the cold season

In winter, we hunch over under the weight of jackets and hats. This can affect our posture – leading to slouching and even pain in the spine.

That is why it is so important to exercise in winter, and it is better to do it before you pain and discomfort will overtake you. If you can't go to the gym regularly, do exercises in your free time at home or at work.

The hunched posture itself, which we automatically take in the cold, is uncomfortable and unnatural for our body. And research shows that cold can actually worsen neck and back pain. Especially when it comes to working outdoors.

If you already feel stiffness in the upper spine and lower back, then it’s time to pay attention to your own body and do yoga, many of the asanas (poses) of which are similar to regular stretching.

But yoga is still more than a set of exercises; it is also a technique for proper breathing, relaxation and cleansing of the body. The point of any yoga exercise is not at all to learn how to twist into three knots and walk on glass. Yoga teaches you to find balance in any life situation. It also strengthens the body and spirit.

There are quite a few types of yoga. Each of them focuses on certain practices. Beginners are usually offered two popular schools:

Hatha Yoga – ideal for beginners. In this type of yoga, the main emphasis is on working with the body.

Iyengar Yoga is a static practice that can be practiced by the most unprepared person. Much attention is paid to the careful “tuning” of the asana.

Research confirms that yoga, when practiced with care and attention to detail, reduces back and neck pain. In addition, it calms the nerves, which is especially important during preparation for the New Year and holidays.

The following exercises are quite popular asanas from different types of yoga, which are recommended for winter warm-up by American fitness trainer and journalist Stephanie Mansour. Even a person with no experience can handle them. Do them at least once a day. Breathe slowly and with concentration. Yoga is a good way to take a break from the worries of the day, focus on your body and relieve pent-up tension.

1. Reverse prayer

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Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and relax your shoulders. Place your hands behind your back and bend them at the elbows. Try to touch your fingertips to your mid-back and push your shoulders back. If this pose seems easy, press your palms together in a prayer position. Take five deep breaths in and out through your nose.

2. Angled pose

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Stand straight and spread your legs until there are about 120 cm between them. Extend your arms to the sides so that they are parallel to the floor. Rotate your left leg so that it aligns with your left arm. Keep your right leg flat on the floor while bending your left knee to a 90-degree angle. Bend toward your left knee, bringing your left forearm to your left thigh. Raise your right hand in the air and bring it to your ear so that your right foot forms a straight line with your fingertips. Hold for five breaths and then switch to the other side.

3. Side stretch

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on your hips. As you inhale, slowly lean to the right, while pressing your left leg firmly to the floor. You should feel a stretch on the left side of your body. As you exhale, return to the starting position, then change sides.

4. Cat and cow

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Get on all fours, with your palms under your shoulders and your hips directly above your knees. Inhale and arch your back, lowering your belly toward the floor, look forward and roll your shoulders back to stretch your chest. Then exhale, rounding your spine up toward the ceiling and drawing your navel toward your spine.

5. Shrug

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Stand up or sit down. Rotate your shoulders in a circular motion. Move them up, then back, and then down to their original position. Repeat the circular motion for about 30 seconds to release tension in your back, neck and shoulders.

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