If you’re like most Americans, there’s a good chance you’re sedentary for the majority of your waking hours. According to one recent survey, Americans sit an average of 13 hours a day and sleep an average of 8 hours—and there’s a growing body of research showing our sedentary ways is not helping our health.
“It’s become clear that too much sitting can increase your risk of high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, as well as having negative effects on metabolism and even causing premature death,” says Jessica Matthews, author of Stretching to Stay Young: Simple Workouts to Keep You Flexible, Energized, and Pain-Free. ”And watching TV is yet another time when many of us are sedentary.”
That’s why Matthews suggests doing a simple stretching routine instead of staying camped out on your couch while your favorite show is on. “It’s a perfect time to add more movement to your day, which can improve your overall health and wellbeing,” she says. “I personally enjoy using TV time to sneak in some stretching.” (Got 10 minutes? Then you’ve got time to lose the weight for good with Prevention’s new 10-minute workouts and 10-minute meals. Here’s how to get started.)Here, Matthews shares her favorite 8 stretches that can be performed in your bedroom or living room while you’re watching TV.Self-Myofascial Release For Glutes
This move targets tight, restricted areas of your fascia as well as the glutes.How-to: Sitting on a foam roller with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, place your right hand on the ground with your fingers angled away from your body directly behind the foam roller. Keep your left leg bent, extend your right leg fully, and angle your body slightly, shifting your weight to your right so the roller is positioned underneath your backside. Roll your body back and forth on the foam roller using small (2- to 6-inch) continuous movements, applying gentle pressure to any tender areas. Roll for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. (You can also add these foam rolling exercises into your routine.)Hinge And Reach
This dynamic stretch is an ideal warm-up move for a wide variety of everyday tasks.How-to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms relaxed alongside your body, and palms facing each other. Keeping a soft bend in your knees and maintaining an elongated spine, hinge at the hips, pressing your glutes back while stretching your arms in front of you at shoulder height, palms still facing each other. Thrust your hips slightly forward and return to a standing position while simultaneously swinging your arms slightly back behind the body. Repeat 10 times. (You can get incredible results by adding stretching to your daily activities. Here’s how.)Arm Circles
This stretch will increase your range of motion in your shoulders.How-to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, palms facing down. With your elbows extended, slowly begin circling both arms forward simultaneously, starting with small circles and gradually making larger circles. Once you complete circling your arms forward, switch directions, making small circles with your arms first and increasing the size of the circles backward to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions per side, 5 in each direction.Read More at Prevention