An article by Dr. A. Nicholas Martin, CP
Have you ever wondered why a runner stretches before they engage in their race? The reason for stretching is to loosen up in order to minimize or prevent the chance of injury. It is essential that a runner do this prior to every time they start their run. If they don't then there is a much greater chance of injury. This is not a favorable outcome for a runner. An injury may mean that they can't continue running either that day, that week, or maybe even longer.
You may not be actually running each day, but you are engaging in the human "race". A day full of unknown potential. A day where your body could find itself doing activities that it wasn't anticipating. There is definitely the potential for stress and strain. After all, your body is meant to move. Why not prepare for the day like a runner prepares for a race. Stretch.
Start your day by introducing to your spine all the motions that it can anticipate that day. Wake up from bed. Slide your feet over the side and get into a seated position. Now do each of the following stretches holding each stretch for six seconds and doing each stretch six times (a nice reminder that there are only six moves);
Keeping your arms to your side, bend forward arching your spine like your looking to your toes; flexion.
Keeping your arms to your side, bend backwards like you are trying to look at the ceiling arching your spine; extension.
Arms on top of each other and twist to the left; left rotation.
Arms on top of each other and twist to the right; right rotation.
Arms on top of each other and tilt or bend to the left; left lateral flexion.
Arms on top of each other and tilt or bend to the right; right lateral flexion.
All in all this should take you no longer than five minutes. Five minutes devoted to minimizing or preventing your chance of injury. Five minutes that has the potential to keep you in the race.