5 surprising things I learned from 30 days of Stretching

30 days of stretching benefits

 

Well we did it!  Let’s celebrate completing our ’30 days to a More Flexible You‘ Challenge. 

When I started the challenge at the beginning of the month I couldn’t touch my toes and that was my goal!  My P.T. Nikki Wakerley, is always promoting the importance of stretching. I love the 15 – 20 minutes at the end of each personal training session where Nikki gives my body a good stretch.

Away from P.T.  I wasn’t so good at taking the time to stretch after runs or just generally stretching to strengthen my lower back.

Taking the30 days to a More Flexible You’ Challenge has certainly helped me to improve physical health but there were some surprising mental health benefits as well.

Did I achieve my goal of touching my toes?  Keep reading to find out…..

I would like to share with you what I learned from 30 days of Stretching

1. Consistency is the Key

Making time to stretch each day for 30 days has improved my flexibility and I am finding that I can hold the poses for longer.  I had recently purchased a yoga DVD and the instructor had suggested that doing yoga each day will improve your flexibility.  I wasn’t convinced but after my 30 days of stretching I’m now a believer.

2. How to Breathe

I learned how to breathe to enhance the pose and go deeper into the stretch.  By slowly breathing ‘in and out’ in a controlled manner I was also in control of my body and it responded to me.  Breathing also helped me to clear my mind and focus.

3. Flexible body and mind

As I became more flexible, I enjoyed my stretching routine and my mood lifted.  My mental health was enhanced as I realised I could actually improve and rise to the challenge.  This motivated me to keep going.

4. The benefit of Quiet Time

I used my stretching time to reflect and meditate on how I was feeling and to concentrate on all the good things I have in my life.  It was also my ‘thinking time’ where I could clear my mind and let my thoughts wander.  I was able to focus more clearly on tasks after my stretching session.

5. I can touch my toes!

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N!!!   Yes, I achieved my goal of being flexible enough to touch my toes!  I feel great and my body feels younger and fitter.  My lower back has not caused me any problems during the 30 days and I feel stronger.

Did you take the 30 days to a More Flexible You Challenge?  What did you learn?

If you didn’t take the Challenge and would like to just Click Here to take the 30 days to A More Flexible You

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

 

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18 thoughts on “5 surprising things I learned from 30 days of Stretching

  1. Regina L. L. Wells

    This is really timely for me, Sue, and I especially appreciate because I just began stretching. I appreciate the additional benefits of stretching that you mention, including that quiet time to concentrate on my breathing and feeling a connection with each muscle as I stretch. I need to get more consistent, though. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh Regina I really am a convert to stretching. It has made such a difference to the pain in my lower back, it has helped my running and I just feel more flexibile and stronger. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post. Have a lovely week, it is always a pleasure hearing from you. xx

      Reply
  2. Krista

    Exercising on purpose has never really been my thing. However, I do realize I need to exercise, including stretching and I have become more open to the idea. I have been doing more stretching and you are right, it actually feels good. Even though it is difficult to bend and hold, in the end I feel like I accomplished something. Making it a 30 day (everyday) goal sounds like a good idea and something I should do. Thanks for your incite.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Krista! I think the secret is to find something you enjoy doing that can also give you a workout. Like dancing or just walking and enjoying your environment. I really have found the benefit of Stretching which my PT is so happy about – she has been on my back to stretch more for quite a while now! You should try to challenge it is just finding at least 10 minutes a day to stretch for 30 days. You will certainly feel the benefits. Have a great day!

      Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Carol! Yes my lower back has given me grief for years and I’ve just put up with the twinges and at times pain. I finally took my PT’s advice and stretched more and I’m a convert – she is very happy about that! Do you do yoga? I find that so helpful for my back as well. Have a lovely day and thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  3. Michelle

    I’ve always been a stretcher so it came easy for me this month. The thing I was slacking in was doing it daily. I tend to only do it when I exercise but I notice I feel better when I do a bit each day. Great that you achieved this Sue. Always an inspiration for all of us. Now on to this month’s challenge.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Good for you Michelle and you look so fit for it! I made a concerted effort each day and it really paid off. Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement and yes let’s enjoy April’s Challenge. I’m glad I met you – have a great day!

      Reply
  4. Ellen

    Stretching everyday takes amazing discipline. Stretching is so important as we age. I must admit, I only do it when I work out twice a week. I don’t stretch before I do my aerobic exercises on the other 5 days. Thanks for reminding me!

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Ellen! Yes it does take discipline that is why I made it into a 30 day Challenge to really get me into the habit. My PT has been wanting me to stretch more often and I finally took her advice. My lower back has never felt better. Have a lovely day and I hope you visit again.

      Reply
  5. Sheryl

    Thanks for the reminder. Stretching is so very important, yet I always forget – or neglect – to do it! And when I do, I feel a zillion times better and more energetic.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Sheryl! I was always lazy about stretching so you aren’t alone in not being a regular! My PT’s words finally struck home and having completed 30 days of Stretching I feel great. My lower back pain is gone and I feel so much better. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!

      Reply
  6. Sue

    I love reading your thoughts, and I always learn something new here! I don’t stretch enough, but it sure feels good when I take the time to do it.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh what lovely words Sue! It makes it all worthwhile when someone compliments your work. My aim is just to encourage and inspire others – I just a normal person but we all have ways we can be inspirational. Have a beautiful day.

      Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Good for you Carolann! I wanted to throw a party when I finally touched my toes! Woo! Hoo! You go girl and have a great day! xx

      Reply
  7. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

    What a wonderful accomplishment. I was stretching until I twisted my ankles. (on separate occasions)I’ve been walking fine but now I feel like it’s time to work on stretching them out, along with the rest of me. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Thanks Rebecca! I actually started it as a challenge for my #couchpotatotofabfit Facebook page to encourage others. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and can’t recommend stretching highly enough.

      Reply

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