Ok, when it comes to our health, fitness, and results ... The most important aspects are following a good nutrition plan, working out consistently, drinking water, getting quality sleep, and supplementing where needed to support our lifestyle and goals.
That's not anything you don't know. And in today's fitness world, the workout piece seems to get the most attention.
Whether it's people posting their workouts on InstaGram, checking in at the gym on Facebook, downloading various apps for workout programs, group fitness classes being more popular than ever, and the simple fact that it's typically the piece most people do consistently ... there's a lot of focus on the workout.
this blog is to cover another topic that is very important for your results. It's one that doesn't get talked nearly enough about, and for the longest time, I didn't make it a priority in my routine either.
That is stretching ... foam rolling ... and mobilizing our bodies.
Flexibility and mobility are important pieces to an overall health and wellness plan, and most people “know” they should do it ... but don't.
Why? For a few reasons. It’s uncomfortable, it takes time, it's the “boring” side of fitness ... but I think one of the biggest reasons is that people simply don't know what to do, how to start, and the real impact it can have on their results.
When we don't know that, it's hard to make it a priority ... that's just the truth. But it's also true that... Good stretching and mobilization habits will help improve flexibility and mobility. This will help with improving muscle function, increase power, improve performance, help prevent injury and is key in overall health.
So that's why I put this blog together, to go over stretching and mobilizing our bodies.
Keeping it simple, straight forward, and effective information that you can start using today!
HOW CAN YOU MAKE STRETCHING AND MOBILITY WORK PART OF YOUR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE?
Making it part of your lifestyle is the best way to make sure that you stick to it long term. If you've failed and making stretching and mobility part of your active lifestyle, you most likely tried to take on too much at once.
Maybe you were like me and would try to do 30 minutes a day ... or spend an hour a few times a week ... but then wouldn't stick to it. The problem was that it was too much of a change too soon.
As in all areas of fitness, consistency is king. That's why when I finally started focusing on just 10 minutes a day I started noticing the difference in how my body felt.
Think about that, 10 minutes a day ... consistently!
At the end of the week, that was 70 minutes, which was about 70 more than I had been doing before! Is that more than you are doing right now?
So, the best way to include flexibility and mobility practices like stretching and mobilization work in your lifestyle is to develop habits just like you would with working out.
Start with a smaller, more manageable request of yourself (like 10 minutes a day), and then work up from there as you build the consistency and confidence from keeping your word to yourself.
This also prevents your mind from making up excuses on why not to do it ... because 10 minutes sounds a lot easier to make time for than 30 minutes in your already busy schedule.
IMPROVING FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY
Ok, so when it comes to working on improving flexibility and mobility, there are multiple ways to go about this. All of them will have some different advantages, so I will go over them individually.
Remember though, if you aren't doing anything at all, or very little, start with what you are most willing to stick to get started. Keep it simple.
No need to have some big huge complex plan.
Focus on starting with what you can do, consistently, and then as you progress we can change things up and get more detailed from there.
Stretching is one of the most well-known athletic habits. Shoot, we started hearing about it in our first P.E. class in grade school!
But, most people don't stretch consistently because it can be uncomfortable, painful and boring all at the same time. Most people don’t even give it a thought throughout the day to stretch, and the ones who do, try to get through it as fast as possible.
The truth is, it needs to become a priority if you’re looking to perform your best, look your best, and reduce the risk of injury.
Stretching can improve the flexibility of your muscles, help with the range of motion for your limbs or joints, reduce stiffness and soreness, and help you prepare for different athletic activities.
There are a few types of stretching techniques, but the two you will hear a lot about are active/dynamic and static stretching.
Active stretching is moving into a stretched position for 3-5 seconds at a time for about 5-10 times. It’s usually best to do before exercise or cardio such as running, because it loosens up tight muscles and helps with proper body mechanics.