Try these stretches to help relieve pain and stay flexible.

Most of these stretches and exercises that improve posture can be done while sitting or standing, depending on your level of ability.How often do you stop to think about your posture? With all of the time we spend working at a desk or table, driving, or sitting while watching TV, it can be easy to forget how important posture is to our overall health.

Here are a few stretches and exercises that improve posture that you can implement in your daily routine to help you feel more energized and avoid the pain that can often accompany poor posture. As with any new physical activity, be sure to check in with your doctor before trying any of these stretches or movements!

  1. Chin tucks
  2. Shoulder rolls
  3. Standing forward bend
  4. Seated side bend
  5. Cat cow

Read on to learn more about how to perform these stretches and exercises that improve posture!

Chin tucks
You can try chin tucks while standing or sitting, just about anywhere! Sit up straight, then pull your chin straight back toward your spine. After holding that position for a few seconds, gently jut your chin out in the opposite direction and repeat. This stretch targets the vertebrae in your neck to prevent them from tilting forward, which can cause neck pain and headaches.

Shoulder rolls
This is a mobility exercise you can do practically anywhere. You simply shrug your shoulders forward in an exaggerated motion up toward your ears and then back down, then again in the other direction. Doing this a few times will help reduce stress and tension and improve circulation in your shoulder joints.

Standing forward bend
Standing with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, clasp your hands behind your back and bend over at the waist as far as your shoulders and hips will allow. Even if you can’t stretch very far in this position, it can help stretch out your back, calves, and hamstrings.

Seated side bend
If you’re able, this stretch is typically performed while in a seated cross-legged position. Place your left hand flat on the floor and use your right arm to reach over your head and lean over to your left and then repeat on the other side. If you’re unable to sit on the floor, you can try a variation of this stretch while seated in a chair. This exercise stretches the muscles between the ribs, lengthens the abdominal muscles, and improves flexibility in the spine.

Cat cow
This pose, popular in many styles of yoga, involves curving and arching the spine while in an all-fours position. Inhale and drop your abdomen toward the ground with your chin up. Then exhale, curl your spine, and bring your chin to your chest. This exercise can also be done while standing if that’s more comfortable. Just bend your knees slightly, place your hands on your legs and continue with the movement.

Spending just a few minutes a day working on these stretches can help improve your posture and mobility.

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