Whether you’re carrying a diaper bag, pushing a stroller, or playing endless games with your little one, it’s no secret that parenting can take a toll on your body. Luckily, there’s good news — taking a few minutes per day to stretch will give your body a break, and has positive, pain-relieving benefits.

In part three of this three-part series, we will be covering three stretches specifically designed for the strains and pains that are placed on parent’s bodies. These three, quick stretches can be done any time of day, and only take five minutes to complete – perfect for when you get only a few minutes to yourself.

Core twist

Core twists will not only help relieve tension in your upper and lower abdomen, they can also help build strength!

How to perform a core twist: 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms out to the sides.
  • Turn your head to look at one hand and slowly twist your spine to watch your hand go behind you.
  • Relax before slowly returning to centre.
  • Repeat twice on each side.

Side bend

Side bends will relieve tension between the ribs and strengthen the intercostal muscles (the muscles between your ribs). This movement can also help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

How to perform a side bend:

  • Standing straight, move your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your arms.
  • Breathe in and slowly bend to one side as one arm goes over your head and the other slides down your leg.
  • Slowly return to centre.
  • Repeat twice on each side.

Shoulder pull

Shoulder pulls can help relieve tension in your shoulders (no surprise there!), as well as in your chest and upper back.

How to perform a shoulder pull:

  • Place your hands behind your head and draw your elbows back.
  • Gently press your head into your hands, count to two, and release.
  • Repeat three times, then massage the back of your neck and head.

Straighten Up Alberta is a public education program offered by Alberta’s chiropractors, designed to increase awareness of and strengthen posture and improve spinal health. This scaled-down version, designed specifically for workers, is intended to provide relief when and where you need it. To see what else this program has to offer, visit StraightenUpAlberta.com.