Stretching. Who has time for THAT?!?
In my 17 + years working in the fitness & wellness industry, one of the things I have noticed is that people tend to skip their warm up and cool-down, especially
S T R E T C H I N G.
Why is this? There are loads of reasons why we might skip our stretches: lack of time, underestimating the importance of them, unmotivated, not entirely sure how to do them or maybe we just forget! Let's give ourselves a bit of a break about these things, it's okay.
Moving forward we can make a choice to add more stretching in if we want to, here's why you may want to consider this.
Flexibility and joint mobility which will be improved through stretching will prevent injury, help you feel less stiff and "rusty", and also ensure that your next workout or movement choice goes smoothly for you.
Doesn't that sound like a small stretching session is worth it?
Check out this article for more reasons to add stretching back into your daily habits:
Here are my FOUR PRO TIPS FOR STRETCHING:
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 10 seconds, ideally aim for 30 seconds for maximum benefit and effectiveness.
Stretches are best done after a warm up or movement routine HOWEVER if you are more apt to complete your stretches first thing in the morning, please do them then, just be extra gentle with yourself, take your time and go easy.
Be gentle and easy with your approach. Avoid forcing, gripping, pulling and be aware of your breath as your stretch.
Make it a mind-body practice: think about lengthening and creating space while you stretch and softening muscles while letting go of tension where you might be holding onto tight muscles. Use your mind to help facilitate your stretches. Your breath can also be helpful by using your exhale to further melt deeper into your stretches while still being mindful of not over stretching.
Check out this helpful stretching resource for your next stretching session:
Let me know what obstacles you have overcome with stretching or what your favorite stretch is. I would love to hear from you.
BONUS TIP: Stretching feels amazing! Who doesn't want to feel amazing?!? Stretching is the sort of thing where when we are done doing it, we say to ourselves, "Why didn't I do that sooner, I always feel good after I do it?"
Am I right about that? I know a lot of us are super busy leading us to feel overwhelmed, stressed and also unmotivated. I get that, I have experienced all of those feelings too.
I invite you to decide for yourself how you will approach taking care of your mind & body. What I know for sure is that stretching can make you feel better when done properly and consistently. Pair it with some movement you enjoy, nourishing nutrition, proper hydration, a good sleep routine and stress management strategies AND you've got a really solid well-being strategy for a life of vitality, growth & vibrancy!
Photo credits: Jill Conohan, JC Photos, Prince Edward Island, Canada