Stretch It Out – Stretching Exercises from Gaiam

girl stretching
I want to be this flexible some day.


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).


GAIAM stretching exercises with Madeleine Lewis
Simple, good stretching.


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.

If the Gaiam stretch video interests you, but you don’t have XFINITY, you can purchase it online at Barnes and NobleWalmart, or Target.

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Mind and Body Health: Making Exercise a Priority

exercise elliptical, stationary bike and schanuzer
Elliptical or bike? Neither – Oscar always comes first


Only one of the exercise options shown above has seen much activity lately. If you guessed the cute, fluffy one, you’re right.  Oscar demands a daily walk and I’m happy to accommodate. The problem is, if I walk him that’s one hour gone. If I then work out, that’s another hour, if not more, gone. I know we all have busy schedules and lately I’ve really been feeling that pain, both in my mind and body. I just have not had the time, energy or inclination to make exercise a priority. I’ll admit I’ve been bogged down with other obligations and I’m obsessed with this blog. I find it hard to focus on a good workout when I’m preoccupied. If I’m not up to giving 100% to a workout I tend to think, why bother? WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

This is not news, we know this is wrong, but not until a recent bout of daily headaches did I realize what a toll this mentality had taken on my mind and body. I’m not a person who gets headaches, but this past week I could not shake a dull, nagging pain.  It was so draining and persistent, I thought it might be seasonal allergies. Headache aside, I decided to drag myself to my new fitness studio, FYFE Training (if you’re local, check out the spinning, tabata boxing and cross-conditioning classes). I’d been feeling guilty for not going because I felt my favorite instructor, Rory, would take note. I love Rory for her great classes and music, but also because she holds me accountable!

No sooner did I get moving, and Rory kicked my butt, did the headache disappear.

I was relieved, but also pretty mad at myself for reaching that point. I should have known that my sedentary ways had contributed to my fitness funk. From now on I follow Newton’s First Law of Motion- an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. No more lazy-day headaches for me – I’m staying in motion.

What motivates you to stay active?

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