Everyone needs to stretch every day. You don’t need to stretch everything but you do need to target key areas and move your joints through full ranges of motion regularly to keep your body healthy. Joint heath is vital to leading an independent life. You want to be able to tie you shoes and reach the top shelf in your 80s and maybe even 90s.
This may not happen if you don’t take care of your joints when you’re young, especially if your work is primarily sedentary and/or you spend a lot of time on the computer, phone, or tablet. Stretching your muscles will help your joints function. Stretching also keeps your muscles from getting tight and short, which can alter the way you move in daily life–walking, climbing stairs– and in exercise–running, lifting. And tight muscles can increase your risk for injury.
Here are five of my favorite stretches that can be done without bands or other gadgets. Try integrating them into your day; some can even be done by your desk at work.