The health trend is here to stay. No matter where you look it’s there: Photos of slim but “fit” girls holding a bag of tea, tanned booties, and a thousand of guides on “how to loose 10 pounds…”. I don’t want to be part of that. I believe true health comes from the inside. I don’t judge anyone for wanting to look their best, but looking “good” won’t make you happy. It won’t solve the real issue of why you feel bad. All I’m saying is, you have to do what makes you happy. Think twice before you jump on the next diet, and remember there’s no such thing as a quick fix for a long-term healthy life. If you need some advice on how to figure out what you want, check out this.
I could go on and on about this subject, but I won’t bore you today. Instead, let’s focus on one part of exercising that is easily forgotten: Stretching. I love working out. I’m not lifting heavy weights, nor am I doing 100 squats a day, but I enjoy Pilates, yoga, and walking. One of my goals are to run 10 km before the end of this year (this has been my goal for three years now…). Regardless of what, how, or when you exercise, the stretching part is important.
- It increases your flexibility, and therefor it will help you do the exercise you want to
- It improves your posture. When you exercise your muscles “pull together”, and by stretching them out you will walk tall and not become a hunch back.
- Stretching is great for warm-up because it increases the blood flow. Warm-up = less risk of injury.
- It feels good. I personally believe that stretching feels great when you have sore muscles. It’s like a good pain.
- Stretching is relaxing. It gives you time to focus on your body and mind. You will feel in control of your body.
Here are my 5 favorite legs/hip stretching exercises right now:
- Make sure your leg is bent at 90 degrees, you should be able to see your toes. Push your hips forward, but keep them straight. If you can’t feel anything, push your hips a little more, or move your foot further away. This is a great stretch when you have kind of a hollow lower back like me.
2. Now stay in the same position, but slightly bend your knee outwards, leaning on the side of your foot. If you can, keep a straight back and go on your elbows. You should feel the stretch in your hip. This is looking at it from the front:
3. You are still in the same position, but instead of leaning forward now lean back. Try and keep a straight back (really tricky as you can see) and if you can, touch your foot. Now you will feel the back of your leg.
4. Sit down, stretch one leg out and try reach it. This is also for the back of your legs.
5. I’m sure you know about this one. There’s a few ways you can stretch your inner thighs, but this is still my undefeated favorite. Put your feet as close to your body as you can without falling or hunching over. Use your elbows to put pressure on your legs.
I have plenty more stretches coming up for you but start with these. Make sure you do it on both sides, and for at least 1 minute each.
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