Ever found yourself asking “why does my dog stretch so much?” Us dogs spend a lot of our time stretching, and for good reason.
How does investing 1-2 minutes each morning in something as simple as stretching pay big dividends? Think about it: Many of you probably brush your teeth as one of the first and last things you do every day. You probably wouldn’t consider going to the office or to bed without brushing your teeth. However, I believe many people do little or no stretching on a regular basis. I see your commitment to your teeth, but where is the commitment to your low-back and joints?
One of my goals here, as you know, is to quickly share with you little suggestions of things I’ve found helpful. I figure if it has helped me, maybe it can help you too. And answering the question “why do dogs stretch?” — and then applying that information to yourself — is one of those little things that can make a big difference. And seriously, when it comes to stretching, nobody understands its importance more than dogs.
How to Stretch Like a Dog
If you’ve ever watched your dog closely, and I’m sure you have, you’ve probably noticed they will stretch before getting up in the morning. They often times stretch after a nap too. Some of my four-pawed friends will lie on their side and extend their front and back legs out fully to stretch them. Also popular is the play posture type of stretch where we bow our head down forward and low, extend our front paws and keep our backside elevated.
For all of you yoga fans out there, it kind of looks like the “upward facing dog” mixed with the “child’s pose.” Because I’m a dog these are the types of stretches I like to do. Because you are a human you can do a stretch I’m not able to do. If I could do this stretch I would, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work for dogs. It does, however, work wonders for humans.
Here it is and it is simple to do:
- Before you get out of bed in the morning, while you are still lying on your back, pull one knee toward your chest and hold this position or stretch.
- Make sure to alternate to the other leg after stretching the first leg.
- I would try to alternate back and forth each leg a few times to cycle through this stretch.
- End your stretching by pulling BOTH legs toward your chest and holding them.
What Does Stretching Do For Your Body?
If you spend 1-2 minutes doing this simple stretch each morning before letting your feet hit the floor I think you’ll find it to be really helpful. It is an easy way to stretch out and move some of the joints in your lower back. It helps to lubricate the joint so things slide and move smoothly. I would think of it as cheap insurance for your low back. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Really 2 minutes if fine. It is the CONSISTENCY that is important. By doing this regularly it can pay big dividends over time. Happy stretching!!!