Stretching isn’t only a good idea for people getting ready for a workout or run, it is a good idea to do every day. The problem, however, like anything new, is learning how to make stretching a habit and to make it part of our daily lives and routines.
The good news is there are different ways to make stretching a habit, and there is no better time to set a New Years goal for stretching as a lifestyle habit. Yes, it may seem like a big deal over nothing, but it isn’t.
The Truth Behind Stretching
Most people are well aware of the importance of stretching before a workout. They are familiar with and have seen athletes on all levels spend considerable time "getting loose" before the game. Yes, the importance of stretching is no secret, but have you ever asked yourself why?
It is unquestionably the number one benefit of stretching, and it is the first line of defense against injury. However, the curious thing is that most of us only do it before our workout, run, or pick-up basketball game.
How often do you walk somewhere at work? How many times do you have to chase down that slippery toddler? How long does it take to gather the laundry, wash the laundry, fold the laundry, and put the laundry away? And how much bending, reaching, squatting, lifting, and carrying is involved in that?
Are you getting the picture yet? It doesn’t matter if you sit at a desk all day, eight hours a day, for your job. Every time you stand or sit on your chair, it is akin to a light (or not so light, sorry) squat. Do you think anyone has ever been injured doing squats, pulled a hamstring, perhaps?
A New Years Goal for Stretching Every Day
Here is the good news, it is never too late, and we are never too old. In fact, it is arguably more important to stretch even more often as we get older. As our less-young bodies slowly lose elasticity and our joints increasingly become less flexible, stretching becomes even more valuable. So let’s make it a New Year’s goal to stretch every day.
5 Tips To Help Make Stretching a Habit
Here are five quick and easy ways to make stretching a habit daily, regardless of what is on the agenda.
- Stretch in the AM: Make stretching the first thing you do when you wake up. Yes, even before you brush your teeth. Fifteen minutes when you first get up for two weeks, and soon it will be a habit you won’t even need to think about.
- Start Small: You don’t have to start out in 15-minute increments. Find a set time every day (preferably earlier than later), and start with 5 minutes of stretching.
- Affiliate: If you do your daily stretching before breakfast or lunch (at the latest), then you will start more naturally start associating stretching with positive thoughts, and things you like.
- Find a Partner: Everything is more enjoyable together, find a friend, coworker, or make your spouse get off the couch for a few minutes.
- Get Creative: Feel free to explore the many different types of stretches, and the more involved you get with stretching, the more easily it will become a habit too.
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Categorised in: Health and Wellness Center
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