I’m a big fan of good old-fashioned stretching exercises. I don’t do them enough, but I love it when I do. Yoga seems to have taken the place of stretching these days, but for me yoga’s not the same. All of the balancing and strength poses throw me off when all I really want is to loosen up with some classic bends and pulls.
I once suggested a 30-minute gym class just for stretching exercises and the instructor said, “That won’t go over well because most people hate stretching. Wow, I thought, how can most people hate something that I really love?
I once read that we should look to our dogs when it comes to a smart way to start our day. More often than not, the first thing a dog does when he wakes is to stand up and stretch. I can attest that Oscar goes about a full downward dog at least 3 or 4 times before he gets moving – noisily I might add.
I’ve tried to commit to daily stretching exercises on my own, but I never follow through even though it seems like such a simple thing to do. I know exactly the kinds of stretches to do, but I find it so much easier to be led through a series of movements rather than do them on my own.
Just last week I discovered Gaiam AM/PM stretch through XFINITY On Demand. If you have XFINITY, you’ll find it under Sports & Fitness, Gaiam TV Fit & Yoga, Free Gaiam TV (because I refuse to pay any more than what XFINITY already gauges me for).
This 30-minute routine instructed by Madeleine Lewis is perfect – not too long, but just long enough and the basic stretches leave me feeling limber and energetic.
I’m so hooked on this program that I’m pushing both Julia and Ally to do it with me. They aren’t as excited about the idea as I am, but I feel strongly that kids today are experiencing more injury and lethargy because quality stretching is being neglected.