A 15-minute stretching routine can provide enormous benefits to your body. Regular stretching can help your body feel more relaxed, improve your range of motion by increasing the "slack" in your muscles, boost heart health by encouraging circulation, and prevent some of the effects aging can have on your body.
However, while some people are familiar with stretching exercises and owners of one of the best foam rollers, others are brand new to the practice. Stretching is often thought of as painful, time-consuming, and not particularly important compared to other forms of exercises such as cardio and weights. Wrong on all three counts: remaining supple, as we've listed above, can benefit you in all sorts of ways.
So what's the best way to get started with a static stretching routine?
Perhaps the most popular stretching video on YouTube, with a whopping 46 million views, is Mady Morrison (opens in new tab)'s 15-min full-body stretch video. Starting at the head and neck, the stretching routine covers your arms, shoulders, back, hamstrings and hip flexors using techniques such as deep lunges. It also includes short rest periods, making it fairly beginner-friendly.
Check out the video in full below:
Watch Mady Morrison's stretching routine below
Mady's short routine might be a change of pace for people who just do a bit of static stretching before their runs or gym sessions, but a comprehensive full-body stretch might be the grease your wheels need.
Stretching your hip flexors with lunges and deep squats will provide much more activity in your back, hips, and legs, undoing some of the damage of a sedentary lifestyle – one dominated by too much sitting. Spending half your life in a chair can cause your back and hips to become inflexible, leading to back pain and other issues.
Stretching more could help, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (opens in new tab). You'll also be flexible enough to sit down on the floor and stand up quickly, which is associated with a longer life according to Brazilian researchers (opens in new tab).
If you've enjoyed this workout, you might want to try doing yoga, which is full of great muscle-lengthening stretches combined with breathing exercises and meditation principles. All you'll need is one of our best yoga mats to get started.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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