Flexible and Fancy-free

May 17, 2009

Hello, Flexible Fitness Folks,

Happy moment!  I hope this finds you all well!

I want you to think about your flexibility, and what you are doing to help your muscles in this regard.  Stretching is often overlooked; however, when you think about how tight your body gets just sitting around and/or how you are literally shortening your muscles when you lift weights, flexibility is essential for your beautiful body!

While taking a yoga class is super way to help with flexibility, it is recommended to do about 10 minutes of stretching a day on the regular.  Doing this after your workout is essential on days you workout.  However, just to share, I recently added stretching into my morning routine, and it is a wonderful way to start the day!  It could also be a great thing to do before you go to sleep to get some more solid zzz’s.

Flexibility will:

  • actually improve your overall fitness performance
  • reduce muscle soreness and potential injuries
  • increase blood and nutrients to the tissues
  • enhance your posture and reduce lower back pain
  • improve your balance
  • help reduce stress

So, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make stretching a daily habit.  10 minutes a day will make a big difference!
  • Stretching after your workout when your muscles are warm is best
  • Stretching before is fine, but be sure to be warmed up; stretching cold muscles can actually lead to injury.
  • When doing static stretches, do NOT bounce!  You could pull a muscle this way.
  • Be sure to hold the stretch position right where you feel a gentle pull.  It shouldn’t hurt, but you should be feeling something.
  • Use your breath to help you deepen your stretch.
  • Hold each stretch for a 15 second minimum (up to 30 seconds is good).
  • Be sure to stretch all the major muscles, especially if you worked out and used certain ones.

Happy stretching and breathing!

In peace,

Heather

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