Stretching is a simple way to improve blood flow throughout your body and avoid cramps, whether you’re warming up for your softball game or behind your desk updating spreadsheets. It’s also a good way to improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and straighten out that poor posture.
“Keeping your joints healthy is as simple as getting regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet and keeping up with your stretches,” says Dr. Mallick Tella, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Aspire Orthopedic Institute in southeast Portland. “Stretching regularly is a great way to help keep your joints healthy and prevent pain caused by arthritis. It’s also been shown to relax people and even improve quality of sleep.”
If you’re planning to hit the baseball field this summer, as a player or as a spectator, the sports medicine and orthopedic surgery team at Adventist Health’s Aspire Orthopedic Institute suggests stretching to avoid injury or cramping.
Whether you’re sitting in the stands or headed into a lengthy client meeting, take a few seconds to stretch for your health and happiness.
Six stretches to improve blood flow and avoid cramping
Head Twister. This one is simple and can be done anywhere. Keeping your chin parallel with your shoulders, look left and then right, spending about 10 seconds on each side.
Neck Bender. With your hands by your side, relax, take a breath and alternate leaning your head from the left to the right. Pause for about 10 seconds on each side.
Chin Tuck. Drop your chin to your chest and hold the position for 20-30 seconds to stretch the muscles in your neck. Remember to keep your shoulders squared.
Shoulder Rolls. With your shoulders square and arms at your side, lift and rotate your shoulders backward. Repeat the motion, rotating your shoulders forward.
Upper Back. With your fingers locked together and straightened arms, push your palms toward the sky to stretch your upper back. Take deep breaths while pushing upward.
Back Arch. Put your hands to your lower back and arch your head while leaning backward. This is easy to do while you’re sitting or standing. Take deep breaths as you stretch out your back.
Adventist Health Family Day at Walker Stadium, July 31
Don’t miss Adventist Health’s family day on July 31 at Walker Stadium. The Portland Pickles will take on the Chico Heat at 5:05 p.m. Come by for tasty and nutritious ballpark snacks and grab a seat for this friendly baseball matchup. Let’s play ball!
Walker Stadium is located at the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.