Stretch It – Stretch It Real Good!
When it comes to squeezing in a quick workout, the number one thing people often neglect is the all-important stretch! I get it – the sweat seems more valuable than the cool down. But the truth is when you do that, you’re missing out on an important part of your workout!!!
Last week I talked about not being afraid of getting bulky from picking up weights. Well stretching is a SUPER important part of making sure you get long and lean defined muscles. Stretching keeps you flexible, strong, and healthy!
What are the benefits of stretching? It can improve your posture (humps aren’t sexy!), reduce pain, prevent injury and muscle soreness. Most importantly, stretching helps improve your range of motion(ROM). As you build and tone with resistance training, you work your muscles through the full ROM. This helps you improve your overall strength and achieve lean muscle mass. Stretching helps you relax and lengthen your short and tight muscles, allowing your joints to move throughout the range better. Not to mention it just feels sooooo good after a workout!
Next time you’re in a rush...
...Give your body what it needs and try these five stretches. You will thank yourself!
When you are stretching, hold for a minimum of 30 seconds - this time gives your muscle the ability to relax so it can lengthen in during stretch.
1. Pigeon Pose – Stretches your piriformis muscle (your tushy!)
2. Kneeling Lunge with Overhead Triceps – Stretches your hip flexors, triceps, and lat muscles (and it hurts so good!)
5. Doorway Stretch – I am a fan of stretching on the go, pretty much every time I walk through a doorway, I do this one! Stretches your pec muscles!
Do you workout on vacation?
When I have clients who have busy lives and find it hard to fit time in for themselves on a regular work week, I like to suggest that they focus on movement when they go on vacation. I almost always get the side eye for this suggestion.
Most don’t like to think about workouts during a trip that is supposed to be relaxing and fun. But why not? Why can’t we utilize this schedule break to take the time, the much needed time, to workout when we are traveling?
We don’t need a gym and fancy equipment. So if you don’t have access to those, it’s perfectly fine. Utilize your body weight for any resistance training and for cardio go for a run, a swim, maybe even a bike ride, or a hike! You can also plan activities that will allow you to move but don't seem like you are exercising.
The goal isn’t to beat yourself up, it’s just about moving your body. Creating and maintaining a healthy habit.
How to plan movement into your vacation so you can still enjoy your trip:
Be flexible. You are on vacation. If workouts don’t go according to plan don’t let it get you down. Just find ways to keep your body in motion. Have fun, happy & safe travels!
Try Body in Motion, my virtual personal training program that is packed with 30 minute workouts with minimal to no equipment to help you keep it fun and meet your movement goals while you travel! Get your first week free when you sign up here for my four week tone-up challenge that plans your workouts for you each day for a month!
What Can You Accomplish In 30 Minutes?
You can read a few chapters in a book, shower, fold the laundry, watch an episode of your favorite show, take a cat nap, or even cook a meal. Most people don’t think they can squeeze in an effective workout in a half hour, but the truth is… you can!
All you need is 30 minutes to get a quality workout that will leave you feeling amazing the rest of the day. In just 30 minutes you can move that much closer to your goals. In just 30 minutes you can feel stronger, taller, and more energized. It just takes commitment and consistency 30 minutes per day to change your life!
It's Your Time. Make The Most Out Of It.
1. Set Realistic Goals. If you’ve been binge watching Netflix all pandemic long, don’t sign up for a marathon next month. Make shorter term goals that are attainable, rather than setting huge goals that you’re likely to fall short on. Aim for increasing your weights by a pound by the end of the month. Or add a quarter mile to your walk each week.
2. Create a Plan. Plan your workouts at least a week at a time and schedule it into your day. You will be much more likely to get in a half-hour workout if it’s on your calendar already then if you just try to squeeze it in throughout your day. Think of it as an important meeting that you can’t blow off!
3. Make it Fun! Being healthy does not have to be torture. Think of things you like doing and incorporate them into your plan. For me I love being outside in the fresh air, so I make sure I plan to take my son out in his stroller at least twice a week. Sometimes I run, sometimes I walk, but I’m outside and being active. Try a workout class with a friend, dance it out in your bedroom for a few songs, go on a hike!
4. Celebrate Small Wins. You don’t have to fit into your high school jeans to feel successful! Small wins can be things like sticking to your workout plan. Not hitting snooze for an entire week. Or simply looking in the mirror and feeling really strong! But be careful how you reward yourself. Instead of splurging for that plate of nachos (although we do all deserve a nacho from time to time), treat yourself to a new workout top and that water bottle you’ve had your eye on! Reward yourself with something that is going to keep you motivated and moving forward.
Jenna Webster, ACSM, ACE – Personal trainer specializing in empower busy women to live healthy and active lifestyles!”