Every once in a while, you need to scale back and let your body recover. In fact, you should be giving your muscles ample warm up and cool down time, not simply for injury prevention, but also for longer lasting results. Have you ever noticed the longer you don’t work out after in intense workout, the worse your body feels? That’s what we’ve dubbed as the 48 hr burn.

Stretching will increase your range of motion, provide more energy as it increases circulation and provide a relaxed mind…o

h and ladies, according to Yahoo health’s research, regular stretching can ease the pain of menstrual cramps. However, stretching is not a warmup! You need 3-5 minutes of cardiovascular activity AFTER stretching to be “warmed” up.

Try each of these static poses for about 15-30 seconds. Static means without motion, no bouncing or rocking, remain still and hold the stretch.

To avoid the rigid, tight muscles try one of our favorite moves, Child’s Pose!

Sit on your knees, take a deep breath in and center yourself. Now exhale and fold over, extending your arms past your head. Sit back on your feet and continue to pull yourself in both directions–reach forward and sit back. Remember to breath!

Try to rest your forehead on the floor. This should feel like a release. Now, to really enjoy the relaxation of the pose take your arms and reverse them. Place them at your sides with your palms up and near your feet. Stay here for 5 breaths.

Try this stretching sequence from MindfulBody to further your quest for zen!