When I run, walk, jog, spin, crunch, lift (I think you get it) I can safely say that 95% of the time I do so without stretching afterwards. If I do actually stretch, it's usually rather quickly and awkwardly. I-am-not-flexible. I don't think I have ever been able to touch my toes (without bending my knees and enduring a lot of pain). I have a difficult time stretching my arms behind my back... it's just plain sad. Sad sad sad. It is because of this that I give stretching so little of my efforts. It's painful, nothing changes and I lose interest. On July 1st, I began the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, on July 2nd I ran my first 5k and on July 3rd I woke up with really tight, sore hips and glutes. So in keeping with the challenge, I have been doing a lot of slow, relaxing stretches before bed. One of the advantages I've noticed is that I have been sleeping a lot better. For any of you Army spouses or those who experience separation from his or her spouse, it is not uncommon to experience trouble with sleeping. Or even if you are going through a stressful time in your life. I have found that allowing my body to relax and stretch out that tension has given my mind a chance to relax as well. Doing this has also addressed a lot of the pain in my hip. For some reason, since I ran on Saturday, I have had a significant amount of pain when I walk. Due to this, I have found myself stretching multiple times throughout the day. This morning I was doing downward dog, before Core Dynamics I spent a good 10 minutes doing forward bends. I have to say I am pretty excited about my newfound appreciation for stretching. So with all of that said, I encourage you to take 15 minutes before bed and just do five basic stretches. It's pretty safe to say that you will feel really great from doing so.
I know I was going back and forth between Spin and Crossfit for my workout yesterday. I went to Spin. Boy did I get the crap kicked out of me. The instructor yesterday was Jose (whom I've never had as an instructor before) and I sweat so bad in that class you could've rung me out. At points I felt slightly light headed, I am quite sore today (good thing I'm stretching) and it was straight-up awesome! The music was loud, everyone was yelling and sweating and spinning. Good, quality fun right there. If you have never been to a spin class I really encourage you to go. It is the type of workout that can be adjusted to your own personal fitness level while giving you the chance to challenge yourself too. If you don't belong to a gym, find one that has spin classes and does a free week-long membership. That way you could give spin a try for free. There are also some places that are non-membership facilities where you can pay for the classes. It is such a fun workout, and depending on your weight and age, you can burn nearly a thousand calories in a class. It's awesome!
Ok, but seriously, if anyone wants to buy me an hour long massage, I would not mind...
Peace, love & sweaty awesome fun