Your Best Five-Minute Stretching Series with Vegan Fitness Guru Caroline Deisler
Stretching is one of the most important things you could do for your body: Whether you spend your day exercising, walking, or sitting at a desk working, your muscles need a good stretch to stay flexible, strong, and healthy. The Beet asked our vegan fitness expert Caroline Deisler to create a five-minute stretching video exclusively for you.
Caroline takes you step-by-step performing easy yet effective stretches you can do anywhere, no equipment required. This stretching series is only five minutes long but you can hold each move for as long as you want, there is no pressure and this is not a workout. Try doing these moves every day, even if you are not exercising.
If you want to lose weight on a healthy plant-based diet, sign up for The VegStart Diet.
Stretching is Important For Your Body and Mind, It Can Help Relieve Stress
There are many health benefits of stretching your body. First, when you extend your muscles you allow blood to circulate the body more easily, which increases your energy levels and breathe flow. Secondly, stretching your body releases tension on the mind and muscles, and can help relieve stress. When you feel an uncomfortable pull on your muscles, try to breathe into the stretch so you can extend your muscles deeper and release the pain. Stretching helps elongate the muscles instead of shortening them. If you don't stretch your joints become tighter and muscles can become shorter. This is very dangerous and can cause injuries. Having a healthy stretching routine enhances your range of motion and trains your muscles more efficiently. You can build stronger muscles when your body is more flexible.
Before and after stretching, if you want to train your other muscle groups, try Caroline's other 5-minute workouts to do anywhere:
Here are your best five-minute moves:
The First Stretch: Big Lunge Arms Up. In a yoga warrior one position, with your front leg bent, and your back leg at a low lunge, raise your arms into the air and reach for the sky. In this position, pulse a few times at the front leg and switch legs after thirty seconds. You will feel this stretch in your back hamstring and if you reach tall enough you can feel a stretch in your lower back. This pose also allows you to open your chest and breathe, allowing your blood to circulate through the body more easily.
The Second Stretch: Pigeon Pose. Start in a downward-facing dog pose and lift one leg to your knee behind your first and walk your back leg directly behind. Then, lay on your stomach so your leg is tucked under your body and lift your chest upwards. This is a modified pigeon pose, a commonly practiced position in yoga geared to open the hips, groin, hamstrings, and relieves pressure on the lower back and spine. In this pose, Caroline moves her head in a circular motion to stretch the neck. Then leans forward over her leg and stays there for 10 seconds. After, lift your opposite leg to your back so only your knee is on the floor. Then, grab your opposite hand and hold your foot. This is an extra stretch for your hamstrings. Hold this pose for thirty seconds then switch legs.
The Third Stretch: Lean Back to Touch Toes. Kneeling on your mat or the floor, circle your lower back and head back towards your heels. Your hands will follow and touch your ankles and heels. This stretch opens up your hips, lower back, chest, and abnormal. Relax your head and hold this pose for a total of one minute.
The Fourth Stretch: Frog Pose or Modified Child's Pose. Spread your knees wide on the mat and point your toes outward as if you are getting into a frog pose. From there, lean forward and downwards like a child's pose except your legs are wider and your butt stays in the air. Put your head down and reach your arms out for a deeper stretch. This is important for your hips, lower back, arms, shoulders, and neck.