Health & Wellness

5 surprising things I learned from 30 days of Stretching

April 1, 2016
5 surprising things I learned from 30 days of stretching

Well we did it!  Let’s celebrate completing our ’30 days to a More Flexible You‘ Challenge. 

When I started the challenge at the beginning of the month I couldn’t touch my toes and that was my goal!  My P.T. Nikki Wakerley, is always promoting the importance of stretching. I love the 15 – 20 minutes at the end of each personal training session where Nikki gives my body a good stretch.

Away from P.T.  I wasn’t so good at taking the time to stretch after runs or just generally stretching to strengthen my lower back.

Taking the30 days to a More Flexible You’ Challenge has certainly helped me to improve physical health but there were some surprising mental health benefits as well.

Did I achieve my goal of touching my toes?  Keep reading to find out…..

I would like to share with you what I learned from 30 days of Stretching

1. Consistency is the Key

Making time to stretch each day for 30 days has improved my flexibility and I am finding that I can hold the poses for longer.  I had recently purchased a yoga DVD and the instructor had suggested that doing yoga each day will improve your flexibility.  I wasn’t convinced but after my 30 days of stretching I’m now a believer.

2. How to Breathe

I learned how to breathe to enhance the pose and go deeper into the stretch.  By slowly breathing ‘in and out’ in a controlled manner I was also in control of my body and it responded to me.  Breathing also helped me to clear my mind and focus.

3. Flexible body and mind

As I became more flexible, I enjoyed my stretching routine and my mood lifted.  My mental health was enhanced as I realised I could actually improve and rise to the challenge.  This motivated me to keep going.

4. The benefit of Quiet Time

I used my stretching time to reflect and meditate on how I was feeling and to concentrate on all the good things I have in my life.  It was also my ‘thinking time’ where I could clear my mind and let my thoughts wander.  I was able to focus more clearly on tasks after my stretching session.

5. I can touch my toes!

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N!!!   Yes, I achieved my goal of being flexible enough to touch my toes!  I feel great and my body feels younger and fitter.  My lower back has not caused me any problems during the 30 days and I feel stronger.

Did you take the 30 days to a More Flexible You Challenge?  What did you learn?

If you didn’t take the Challenge and would like to just Click Here to take the 30 days to A More Flexible You

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

….

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18 Comments

  • Reply Regina L. L. Wells April 4, 2016 at 10:44

    This is really timely for me, Sue, and I especially appreciate because I just began stretching. I appreciate the additional benefits of stretching that you mention, including that quiet time to concentrate on my breathing and feeling a connection with each muscle as I stretch. I need to get more consistent, though. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2016 at 14:03

      Oh Regina I really am a convert to stretching. It has made such a difference to the pain in my lower back, it has helped my running and I just feel more flexibile and stronger. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post. Have a lovely week, it is always a pleasure hearing from you. xx

  • Reply Krista April 4, 2016 at 23:08

    Exercising on purpose has never really been my thing. However, I do realize I need to exercise, including stretching and I have become more open to the idea. I have been doing more stretching and you are right, it actually feels good. Even though it is difficult to bend and hold, in the end I feel like I accomplished something. Making it a 30 day (everyday) goal sounds like a good idea and something I should do. Thanks for your incite.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:21

      Hi Krista! I think the secret is to find something you enjoy doing that can also give you a workout. Like dancing or just walking and enjoying your environment. I really have found the benefit of Stretching which my PT is so happy about – she has been on my back to stretch more for quite a while now! You should try to challenge it is just finding at least 10 minutes a day to stretch for 30 days. You will certainly feel the benefits. Have a great day!

  • Reply Carol Cassara April 5, 2016 at 07:53

    I’ve got the lower back thing, too, but I have been really working it in the gym. I love the flexibility and just being easier in my body.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:29

      Hi Carol! Yes my lower back has given me grief for years and I’ve just put up with the twinges and at times pain. I finally took my PT’s advice and stretched more and I’m a convert – she is very happy about that! Do you do yoga? I find that so helpful for my back as well. Have a lovely day and thanks for visiting.

  • Reply Michelle April 5, 2016 at 07:58

    I’ve always been a stretcher so it came easy for me this month. The thing I was slacking in was doing it daily. I tend to only do it when I exercise but I notice I feel better when I do a bit each day. Great that you achieved this Sue. Always an inspiration for all of us. Now on to this month’s challenge.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:31

      Good for you Michelle and you look so fit for it! I made a concerted effort each day and it really paid off. Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement and yes let’s enjoy April’s Challenge. I’m glad I met you – have a great day!

  • Reply Ellen April 5, 2016 at 08:09

    Stretching everyday takes amazing discipline. Stretching is so important as we age. I must admit, I only do it when I work out twice a week. I don’t stretch before I do my aerobic exercises on the other 5 days. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:32

      Hi Ellen! Yes it does take discipline that is why I made it into a 30 day Challenge to really get me into the habit. My PT has been wanting me to stretch more often and I finally took her advice. My lower back has never felt better. Have a lovely day and I hope you visit again.

  • Reply Sheryl April 5, 2016 at 08:25

    Thanks for the reminder. Stretching is so very important, yet I always forget – or neglect – to do it! And when I do, I feel a zillion times better and more energetic.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:33

      Hi Sheryl! I was always lazy about stretching so you aren’t alone in not being a regular! My PT’s words finally struck home and having completed 30 days of Stretching I feel great. My lower back pain is gone and I feel so much better. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Sue April 5, 2016 at 08:57

    I love reading your thoughts, and I always learn something new here! I don’t stretch enough, but it sure feels good when I take the time to do it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:35

      Oh what lovely words Sue! It makes it all worthwhile when someone compliments your work. My aim is just to encourage and inspire others – I just a normal person but we all have ways we can be inspirational. Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply Carolann April 5, 2016 at 10:17

    Stretching is my favorite exercise! You’ve inspired me to get started doing it again. I love being able to touch my toes too!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2016 at 11:36

      Good for you Carolann! I wanted to throw a party when I finally touched my toes! Woo! Hoo! You go girl and have a great day! xx

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski April 6, 2016 at 01:37

    What a wonderful accomplishment. I was stretching until I twisted my ankles. (on separate occasions)I’ve been walking fine but now I feel like it’s time to work on stretching them out, along with the rest of me. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 6, 2016 at 12:40

      Thanks Rebecca! I actually started it as a challenge for my #couchpotatotofabfit Facebook page to encourage others. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and can’t recommend stretching highly enough.

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