We are having a winter season in New Delhi, where temperature records are being broken. The last day of 2012 broke the record for coldest day of the year and the very next day, the record for coldest day of the year was set for 2013. That record was broken yesterday with an even colder day.
I would personally prefer to stay inside the quilts but a pet parent has duties and record temperatures or not, the morning walk is a must. So while I huddle away to get ready, Coco the pet child has her own way of warming up. She does stretch exercises while she waits for me.
Having watched the exercises for the past few days, I noticed that some of them are quite useful when it comes to managing stress apart from making the limbs flexible in the morning. This post is a joint contribution from Coco and me on a few select stretch exercises that shake off lethargy and also reduce stress.
Before starting the stretch, it is a good idea to warm up. Walking or marching on the spot helps to increase the blood flow and make the muscles supple. Hold the stretch until you feel the muscles loosen and then hold for a further 10 seconds. You might feel a little discomfort at the beginning of the stretch but if it is painful, then please stop immediately. The stretch exercise is supposed to help you, not hurt you.
Coco starts with a front paws and then hind paws stretch. This is followed by vigorous shaking and a wagging tail which indicates she is ready to get out of bed.
The human variation is as follows:
Stand up straight with your arms at your sides. Raise your arms above your head with palms of hand facing inward and stretch as if you are trying to reach the sky. Hold the position to a count of 5 and lower your arms again to your sides. This is one set. Do a set of 3.
Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Raise your right hand over your head and stretch to your left side. Let the left hand slide on your left leg while you stretch. Repeat on the other side. This is one set. Do a set of 3.
Stand up straight. Lift one foot off the ground and circle it, first clockwise and then clockwise. Do the same with the other foot. This is one set. Do a set of 3. If you have trouble balancing, hold onto a chair or the wall.
I admit I could not think of a variation for the tail wag, but a gentle shake up of the hands and wrists as well as of both legs does wonders.
The great thing about these stretches is that they can be done anytime you are feeling stressed out or need to shake off lethargy.
Even when winter is over and spring arrives, these stretch exercises will help you get a great start to your day.
How are you keeping yourself fit this winter? Please do share in the comments box below.
Also, if you found this post useful, please share with others. You never know who needs it – especially a furry being who is having difficulty persuading their pet parent to take them out!
Written by: Vatsala ShuklaFollow Me
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