Stretching is one of the greatest things to do to stop tightness and make your body feel relaxed. I have always liked to stretch and when I get busy this is usually the first thing to fall off of my schedule, I really regret this when I realize it.
To stretch all you have to do is make sure that your body is warmed up by walking around and swinging your arms and legs around a bit and then pull whatever limb you are stretching for 30-60 seconds at the tightest but still comfortable level you can. Stretching realistically for me these days takes about 10 minutes and should not really take much longer than 20 if you are doing it correctly. Don’t know any stretches? Then check here and here.
One of the important things to remember about stretching is that you should never stretch when you are cold and instead you should be warmed up. Stretching when your body is cold can very easily lead to a muscle pull but stretching after a workout will lead to easier recovery from tight contracted muscles.
I have found with most people that if you stretch faithfully for a couple of weeks that your flexibility will increase by an often unimagined amount. The other advantages that you will find almost immediately are loss of tightness, improved strength, better rest and sleep, and a nice feeling of comfort in your muscles and joints.
Once you have gotten a good taste of stretching you may want to persue this a little farther and to do this the best things to look into are Yoga or Pilates, both of these disciplines rely on stretching and a significant improvement in your mind-body connection and I do not believe that anyone I have ever heard of trying them is disappointed in either. Yoga has a thousands of years old history and Pilates of course is today’s hot new exercise trend.