There's no such thing as bad posture, but if you maintain any position for a long period of time you could find yourself in some discomfort – whether that's hunched over a desk or slumping in front of the TV.
A small study published in the Medicina journal found that slumping for long periods could increase lower back pain, so we'd recommend getting up and stretching fairly regularly if you want to avoid aches and soreness.
If you've found yourself in a bit of a fitness rut over the festive period, we think trying some gentle mobility work is a great way to get back into the swing of things, and these five stretches from yoga, fitness and wellness coach Rhiannon Bailey are a great place to start. You don't need any equipment (though the cushioning of one of the best yoga mats is always appreciated during kneeling poses) and they take just five minutes to do, so you can easily slip them into your morning routine.
Bailey recommends using these stretches three or four times per week, performing each one for six slow breaths (about 30 seconds) on each side of your body.
Watch her video below to find out how to perform each stretch, then give them a go for yourself. Adapt each position so you can feel a light tension in your muscle, but don't push a stretch to the point it becomes uncomfortable.
Watch Rhiannon Bailey's five daily stretches
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Bailey says incorporating these five simple stretches into your morning routine will help increase your range of motion, reduce your risk of injury, improve your posture, boost your energy levels and help improve your sporting performance for activities like running and lifting weights.
The Mayo Clinic agrees, adding that stretching can also "enable your muscle to work most effectively" and "improve your ability to do daily activities".
Stretching, yoga and Pilates can all help improve your flexibility and the range of motion in your joints. This is extremely beneficial for resistance training and high-intensity resistance training sessions as it allows you to assume the proper form for exercises like squats and deadlifts, enabling you to get the most out of each exercise and reducing your chance of injury.
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
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