Love Your Body
Photography by: Reed Davis
FLEXIBILITY Why it matters: Being flexible reduces your risk of injuries and relieves muscle tension that contributes to chronic pain. What’s more, research indicates that flexible muscles are related to pliable (healthy) arteries. Exercise: Hamstring stretch Lying on your back, extend your left leg along the floor and lift your right leg in to your chest. Place a resistance band or yoga strap around the arch of your right foot, hold on to the band with both hands, and extend your leg up, straightening it as much as possible. Lower your right leg down to just above the floor, then pull it up toward your face. Hold for 30 seconds, then go back down. Do 10 reps. How to tell you’re improving: Your lifted leg will come closer to your face and the lifted knee will stay straighter. Even when not doing the exercise, you’ll notice less lower back pain.