neck stretch

Photo: Adam Bell

1 of 8
Chin Tuck/Upper Trap Stretch/Shoulder Circles

What it does: This sequence releases tightness in the back of your neck, your shoulders, and the muscles that connect your shoulders to the base of your skull. Not only do these areas get tighter with age, but sitting all day (especially when you're slumped forward) speeds up that process, says Mary Ann Wilmarth, a certified physical therapist and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association.

How to do it: While you're sitting in a chair with good posture (shoulders back and down), slide your head back like you're trying to give yourself a double chin. Keep your head there, hold onto the side of the chair with your right hand and tilt your head toward your left shoulder. You should feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides. Finally, with your chin still tucked, do 5 to 10 backwards shoulder circles. Repeat the sequence 3 to 5 times throughout the day.