Do you remember the various physical fitness tests you did as a kid in P.E.? You’d accumulate so many points and then earn a certificate along with a patch you could put on your awesome jean jacket? Oh wait, no one put those patches on anything so what were they for, your bulletin board or mom’s refrigerator? Anyway, I usually scored well with the exception of one challenge: the dreaded sit and reach test. My gym teacher would jokingly point out that I was basically getting a negative score for that one event because I couldn’t reach the box. I couldn’t even reach my toes. I still can’t reach my toes, even after a long yoga or Pilates session. People are always shocked when I tell them and they usually don’t believe me but it’s true, my hamstrings just aren’t very flexible. I can’t touch my toes when I bend forward from a standing position, I can barely get there from a seated straight leg stretch, and can just make it with a seated runners stretch.
Each month I set a new wellness goal to work towards. My goals vary from drinking more water to eating more produce to reading more. This month, my goal is to stretch more often. I find that when I do stretch, I can get closer to my toes and I’ve actually noticed a significant improvement in my flexibility in the past several months.
Here is a short video that takes you through my lower-body stretching routine. I usually do this while watching Arrested Development or Dexter, two shows I’ve been catching up on this summer. While I don’t watch a lot of TV, it’s the perfect opportunity to stretch at the end of the day. Remember, flexibility is just as important as your cardio and strength routines so try to find a way to fit it in your day!