Stretch bands, also called resistance bands, are a useful tool for stretching and strengthening exercises. They come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and strengths. Your Welcome Pack includes a basic stretch band to help you get started. Your Health Advisor can recommend higher- or lower-resistance bands for your specific needs.
Here’s a simple stretch routine you can try:
Seated Row: While seated with legs extended together in front of you, hold each end of the band with the band looped around the bottoms of your feet. Keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and palms facing each other, pull your hands all the way back to your sides. Your elbows should stay tight against your body. You’ll feel this in your arms.
Upper Back Stretch: Begin as in the Seated Row exercise. This time, spread your feet shoulder-width apart and engage your core. Engage your core and hinge your torso backward, keeping your spine straight and shoulders down and back. This exercise will work your core.
Side Stretch: Standing, grasp the band in both hands and extend your arms over your head. Without twisting your torso or shifting your hips, bend at your waist from side to side. You should feel a stretch along your sides.
Shoulder Stretch: Begin as in the Side Stretch. For this exercise, your legs should be shoulder width apart. Stretch the band in opposite directions, engaging your shoulder muscles.
Tricep Stretch: Position the band along your spine by holding one end of the band behind your head and the other end behind your lower back. Pull the hand behind your head up to the sky to engage your tricep muscle in the back of your arm. Switch sides and repeat. Note: If you have a lot of tension in your shoulder, this stretch might not be for you.
Now let’s try it all together with Katie: follow this link to our Stretch Band Basics video.
Make Movement a Habit at Home
Getting the right amount of physical activity does not have to be an overwhelming task. For example, it’s recommended for adults to get about 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. So if you (or you and your dog, friend, or family member) take a brisk 10-minute walk three times a day, you’re well on your way to meeting those guidelines!
Working out from the comfort of your own home can be an easy way to begin forming healthy habits. Below are some tips for setting yourself up for success:
- Pick a spot in your home. Choosing a dedicated space to exercise is important, but it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. All you need to practice your stretch band exercises is a space the size of a yoga mat (about 4 feet by 8 feet).
- Chores don’t have to be boring. Cleaning up around the house can turn into an opportunity for movement. Try incorporating squats while loading and unloading the dishwasher, or do lunges around the kitchen while putting away groceries.
- Call on your social circle. Talk with a friend or loved one over phone or video chat while doing light exercise or stretches. Good company can help the time fly!
- Make the most of your TV time. Many of us enjoy watching our favorite programs, so why not add some physical activity during commercial breaks? Try simple chair exercises like standing up and down several times without using your arms. It may be more difficult than you think!
- Use everyday items to get going. Can’t find your stretch band? That’s okay! Try using a towel or old T-shirt instead. Bottles and canned food items can be used as weights for strength-building exercises.
- Get creative with your movement. Have a dance party in your kitchen or practice balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth. There are so many different ways to get your body into motion, so give yourself the space to discover what works for you.
Your Health Advisor has more stretch band tips, tricks, and workout resources to share! As always, talk with your healthcare provider before making changes to your exercise routine.