Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Stretch Break: Why Movement Matters

A focused stretching routine provides many positive impacts on your health. But committing to implementing this important activity can leave people feeling “stretched” a little thin. Understanding why stretching is important and practicing how and where to do it can help make this concept feel a bit more…flexible. We consulted local experts on how to stretch your way to better health today.

The Power of Stretching
“Stretching is more than just a warm-up or cool-down routine; it's a fundamental component of a healthy lifestyle. Regular stretching enhances joint range of motion and flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall mobility. It also helps alleviate stress and promotes relaxation by releasing tension in the muscles; aids in correcting posture issues, which can alleviate back and neck pain; and increases blood flow to muscles, improving circulation and nutrient delivery.”—Lisa Robinson, General Manager, Roseville Health & Wellness Center,

Routine Rules
“Stretching [should] be performed regularly throughout the day to, allow proper spinal and joint mobility. Stretching helps to release stress on joints and prevent breakdown from abnormal movement patterns. Finding ways to stretch throughout the day to counteract the stress we encounter is integral to [overall] wellness."—Steven Harrity, Owner & Physical Therapist, Cameron Park Physical Therapy Center,

Stretch Out Your Stretch Times
“Modern life accumulates tension in our bodies due to stress, poor nutrition, and other adversities. This physical density obstructs the free flow of life force, known as prana, within our cellular structure. Extended deep stretches are a powerful tool to breaking down this density and allowing prana to flow freely. Stretching for two minutes or more initiates a transformative process. The core of the muscle, housing essential blood flow and elasticity, begins to release and extend. This core lengthening ensures lasting flexibility and enables prana to dissolve mental, emotional, and energetic obstructions, preventing chronic illness.”—Tammie Fairchild, Founder & CEO, Serenity Spa | Soul Yoga,

Be “Flexible”
“Stretching can take place at almost any location—your home, the gym, a sports club, or even your office. Taking a five-minute stretch break after sitting for an hour can alleviate tension in your upper back and neck, as well as ease eye strain. A sports club can provide specialized stretch cages, mats, balls, and other tools to assist with your routine; they also have certified personal trainers who can develop an individualized plan. Stretching at home provides convenience that can help [keep your routine] consistent and effective.”—Erin Johnston, Fitness Director, Broadstone Sports Club, a Spare Time Sports Club,

Blissful Balance
"With the demands of a static society where we spend hours working on computers, stretching and posture correction are becoming more and more important. Stretching and flexibility promote a balanced body through symmetry, which allows postural alignment and prevents injuries.”—Steven Harrity, Owner & Physical Therapist, Cameron Park Physical Therapy Center,

Not All Stretches Are Created Equal
“Two common stretch techniques used in fitness programming are ‘dynamic’ stretching and ‘static’ stretching. Dynamic stretches use fluid movement, preparing the body for physical activity, and [are often] part of a warm-up routine. Static stretches are single positions held for 10-30 seconds and primarily practiced at the end of a workout or as part of a cool down.”—Erin Johnston, Fitness Director, Broadstone Sports Club, a Spare Time Sports Club, 

6 Simple Stretches

Seeking some simple static stretches? This easy-to-follow routine—courtesy of Erin Johnston, fitness director at Broadstone Sports Club—can be completed at home or the gym.

1»Standing Calf Stretch
Stand facing the wall and place both hands on the wall with your right leg forward and left leg behind. Bend your right knee, keeping both heels on the ground. Both feet should face forward without turning in or out. Hold for 30 seconds then switch feet.

Standing Calf Stretch


2»Hamstring Wall Stretch
Lay on your back close to the outer corner of a wall or in a doorway so your left leg can rest on the wall or doorframe and your right leg can lay flat on the floor. Gently straighten the left leg. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs and repeat. Move your hips closer to the wall or doorframe to increase the stretch.

Hamstring Wall Stretch


3»Quadriceps Stretch
Stand next to a wall for balance. Grasp the heel of your shoe or your ankle and gently pull your heel toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Keep your abdominals tight and squeeze your glutes to prevent your back from arching. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.

Quadriceps Stretch


4»Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on the floor with your right knee on a rolled-up towel or pad for comfort. Your left leg will be bent in front. Keep your torso straight by tightening your abdominals and keeping your chest lifted. Squeeze your buttocks while shifting your weight forward onto your left leg. You should feel a stretch in the front of the right hip and thigh. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch


5»Shoulder Stretch
Sit in a chair or on the floor in a comfortable position with your back straight. Take your right arm across your chest just below the collar bone. Hold your right arm with your left hand or left forearm just below the right elbow. Avoid elevating your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.

Shoulder Stretch


6»Neck Stretch
Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, back straight, and eyes looking forward. Tilt your head to the right leaving your shoulders relaxed and hold for 30 seconds. Lift your head back up to center, then repeat on the other side.

Neck Stretch


by Melissa Strand

Photo ©master1305 - Top large photo ©wavebreak3 - Sidebar stretch photos by Gary Zsigo ©stylemediagroup.