SOS Stretches are designed to be done in the moment—when you need them most. These super-quick routines will relieve tension and tightness and ease sore muscles from whatever activity you’re taking part in. In today’s after a long day of shopping routine, you’ll be:
- Stretching your: Wrists, hands, shoulders, back, and feet.
- You can do this: Wearing pretty much any type of clothing and in whatever place you feel comfortable stretching.
An all-day shopping marathon doesn’t just affect your wallet—it can do a number on your body too. Spending hours on your feet means lots of uninterrupted time where gravity is pushing down on you, Candace Harding, DPT, an integrative physical therapist and registered yoga teacher in Arlington, tells SELF.
“Your muscles are forced to support you in fighting gravity during that time,” she explains, and that can lead to feeling tired and tight overall. More specifically, walking for long stretches of time, like taking laps around the mall for instance, can tighten up tissues in your feet if you’re not used to that level of activity.
Additionally, depending on how many shopping bags you’re hauling and how heavy they are, your hands, wrists, and shoulders might start to fatigue just because those muscles don’t often work for that long of a time, Harding explains. (Unless, of course, your normal routine involves continuously lifting and carrying items—like if you’re a delivery driver, for example).
The antidote to all this? Stretching. By doing a simple sequence after a long day of shopping, you can give your muscles a chance to be in a different position, and this variation can bring relief. Harding created the below four-move stretch routine specifically to help folks recover after a marathon mall session. Right this way for all you need to know!
- Complete each move for the designated number of reps listed below. Harding designed the sequence in a particular order, but it’s not set in stone—you can do these moves in any order. Also, you don’t have to do all four moves; feel free to pick and choose if some feel better than others.
- You’ll reap benefits from doing the sequence just one time, but if it feels good and you’d like to repeat it, then go right ahead, says Harding.