Eight hours of sleep felt pretty good, but truthfully — I could’ve slept 8 more! I did wake up to a lovely breakfast, which made Monday a little more bearable:
Somewhere in that mess is a Hodgson’s Mills Insta Bake Whole Wheat Waffle, topped with Chobani Vanilla yogurt, flax seed, crushed almonds, and a chopped nectarine.
It was banging!
10 Minute Stretch and Strength Routine
I started my movement off with some light cardio in my living room. I windmilled, jogged in place, and did jumping jacks for three minutes, and then I stretch out my poor legs for another 5.
After stretching, I did some strength moves:
- 100 bicycle crunches
- 30 push-ups
- 20 reverse crunches
Getting in a little bit of movement in the morning feels SO good! Even if I don’t have the time to really work out in the AM, my routine perks me up and makes me feel more productive.
Your Stretching Tips
Last week, I asked for your opinion on stretching. Here is a summary of the 60 responses the post received:
- Foam Rollers are God’s Gift to Mankind: Foam rollers were universally touted as a miracle. I have a foam roller and can attest to its awesomeness. As stated in this article, "The best way to eliminate and prevent muscle knots is the foam roller… Use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate the direct pressure. A foam roller is a good alternative to repetitive trips to the massage therapist. Bottom line: The foam roller is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to treat and prevent the most common injuries seen in runners." For information on foam rollers, check out this Runner’s World article.
- If You Stretch Before a Workout, Warm Up First: Although readers are split on whether stretching before a workout is beneficial, everyone agreed that it’s important to warm up cold muscles before stretching.
- Always Stretch After a Workout: Although some of us admit to being better about stretching than others, all the responders said they felt better when they do stretch out.
- Don’t Bounce! Readers generally feel that bouncing motions while stretching is bad. Also, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to get maximum benefits.
- Get Educated: Since so many injuries are the result of poor biomechanics of your muscles, learn more about your anatomy to help you better stretch out the trouble spots. KSGoodEats sent this awesome resource over.
- Strength Training is as Important as Stretching: I was flooded with emails from people who felt improvement in their knees and hips after isolating those muscle areas during strength-training moves. Here are two websites that one reader named Emily sent me: Leg Exercises – The Crab Walk and Hip Exercises. Jane sent this article: Knee Pain. Consult a Physical Therapist to learn more!
- Try Yoga: Yoga is, of course, the ultimate stretch. Check out www.YogaDownloads.com for in-house yoga options. See Cat Run recommends this move in particular!
- Get Professional Advice: Make an appointment with a Physical Therapist to learn more strength and stretch moves that you can apply to your own unique situation. After all, I’m only a semi-professional advice-giver, not a doctor. 🙂
Yay for foam rollers! Such a great way to prevent injury. And it's even relaxing, once you do it for a few weeks and your muscles are soft and it doesn't hurt like heck anymore! The difference in how it feels after a few weeks is a testament to how necessary foam rolling is.