Jump Start Aug: Healthy Week Day 5

Healthy week stretch bend flexible flexibilityDay five and it’s time to be a little bit more flexible. Or, more exactly, today’s activity is to do some stretching to improve flexibility. Fitness regimes regularly concentrate on stamina/endurance, speed, muscle tone, fat-burning or strength – it’s very easy to forget about flexibility, but it’s still important.

The good thing about flexibility exercises is that you can go completely at your own pace, so most people can manage them. Don’t force it and don’t hurt yourself, just take your time and you should be fine. Try not to lock your joints, and ease slowly into each exercise bit by bit.

What could you try today? You have quite a few options, but try to spend at least 15 minutes on one of the following activities:

  • Gentle yoga (Hatha or Iyengar)
  • Pilates matwork
  • Workout warm-down exercises
  • Flexibility sections of NHS ‘Strength & Flex’ podcasts
  • Simple flex exercises for older people

Try to cover the main areas of the body, thinking about:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Hamstrings
  • Inner thigh
  • Calves

Don’t worry if you aren’t as supple as you like to begin with. Take a mental note of what’s difficult, and consider doing some more work on any problem areas over the next few days and weeks. With a few regular sessions of, say, yoga you could see quite a big difference in as little as four weeks.

It also has the benefit of helping you wind down and feel more relaxed, which is a nice bonus.

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