Forgot to stretch? This is how you make sure you do it
You went for a run, you broke your own record during your home workout, and you worked well all day. Awesome! But did you stretch? Or have you forgotten to stretch again? Yes Yes. You’ll do that later. And if you’ve “forgot” to stretch for the umpteenth time or found that you just really don’t have time for it today – trust me, your body will let you know. You know you should stretch and you know you feel better after you do it. Your fitness goals will get closer if you prioritize stretching. To help you with that, we have listed some tips below, so that you can no longer get out of it.
7 tips if you regularly forget to stretch.
Know why stretching is so important
Stretching not only improves your flexibility, it also helps prepare your body for a workout or cool down after a workout, prevent stiffness, muscle soreness and injury, compensate for the effects of sitting and relax. With sufficient stretching, your workouts generally go better and you often feel more active.
Make sure you are reminded
Place your yoga mat, strap and/or foam roller in plain sight, in a place you pass by every day. That way you are at least reminded to stretch. Case in point: since I put my foam roller in a corner of the living room instead of in the closet, I use it considerably more often! It can also help to move your stretching aids to a new place once in a while.
Make one or two stretches a habit
Stretching for 30 minutes lowers blood pressure, but it really doesn’t have to be half an hour every day! A few minutes can make a big difference. Surely you have a stretching exercise that you enjoy doing. Get into the habit of doing that exercise at a set time every day. Once that’s a habit, you’ll also make it much easier for yourself to add a second (and later, maybe even a third) stretch. If you’re at it anyway…
Combine your routines
If you’re under-stretching due to lack of time, try combining stretching with one of your other routines. For example, is there a podcast you listen to every week? You can also do that while stretching! You can also get yourself used to doing some stretching exercises while you wait for the coffee to finish.
This may not work for everyone, but if you are someone who works with a calendar or to-do list, you can of course just add your stretches as an item to your daily schedule. That might feel a bit forced at first, but it’s always nice to be able to cross off an item again, right? And you can no longer use “forgetting to stretch” as an excuse.
Take advantage of your technology
There are many useful apps that have been specially developed to remind you of certain things, such as getting up every hour, taking your eyes away from the screen, paying attention to your posture or drinking water. So why not add a stretch or two to those reminders as well?
Do you have muscle pain? Does your back hurt when you stand up? Or does your foot fall asleep very often? Think of these as signs that your body could use some TLC – in the form of some targeted stretching exercises, for example. If you learn to listen to your body, the threshold to actually stretch will be a lot lower. In addition, we really hope that everyone will get through this lockdown and stay healthy (and of course keep stretching ;)). Enjoy the coming holidays and each other!