Yes, even on your rest days.
No one is expecting you to work out every single day (unless you’re into that). But just because you’re taking a day off from the strenuous stuff, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to turn into a sedentary marshmallow. It’s important to flex and stretch your body every day, even if you’re not planning on doing any strenuous exercise. There are a handful of important muscles that you may not be working at all, which can lead to some very uncomfortable stiffness long term.
The three spots that are most prone to daily aches and pains are your shoulders, hips, and back. Aches in these spots mostly stem from posture problems; if you’re sitting in one spot most of the day without moving much, that’s pretty much a guaranteed path to stiffness and aches. This is why people who work desk jobs are especially prone to neck, shoulder, and back pains. To alleviate these aches, there are four stretches you should do every day.
First, roll your neck side to side, then move your shoulders front to back. This’ll help to relive some of the tension you’ve likely got stored up back there, preferably with a satisfying crack.
Secondly, forward folds. Loosen up that back by bending your body forward, either from a standing position or while sitting down. Make sure to bend at the hips rather than hunching your back. It’s okay if you can’t touch your toes; it’s the folding itself that matters.
Third, hip flexors. If your hips are feeling stiff, try some kneeling stretches to loosen up. Lay down a soft surface to kneel on, kneel down, and step out with your other leg. These lunges aren’t too hard, though you should stop if you get a pinching feeling in your lower back.
Finally, chest openers. These are easy; just stretch your arms behind your back and stretch out that chest. This will relieve some tension in your back and shoulders, and it feels pretty good in your chest as well.
These stretches should only take you about five minutes, and then you can get on with your day. You may find that by loosening up these critical spots, your regular exercise routines may come a bit easier to you.