For my second week of Pit Stop Mondays, I’m focusing on flexibility.
Growing up, my dad would always joke that he was the most flexible member of the family…with four daughters, this was problematic. None of us were naturally limber–I distinctly remember physical fitness assessments when I was in elementary school that involved me straining (unsuccessfully) to touch my toes.
In high school, I started stretching more routinely and got interested in yoga. I’d attend classes 1-3x a week, and my flexibility drastically increased. I went from barely being able to touch my toes to being able to fold myself in half. Forget touching my toes–my head could touch my knees! I still never attained the splits (my hips struggle to open that way), but I was loose and fit.
Now, I fall somewhere in between the rigid ten year old and the elastic sixteen year old. I still enjoy stretching, but I tend to only do it after exercising. One of my goals for this semester is to be able to achieve a front split , and I’m so close! (Depending on how warm my muscles are…)
Rather than only stretch when I work out, I’m going to stretch, at a minimum, twice a day: in the mornings and evenings.
Why stretch? According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching improves athletic performance and reduces the risk of injury. It increases blood flow to your muscles, and for me, it makes me feel great.
What is your favorite stretch?