There is so much hustle and bustle at the end of the year for many reasons. Finding time to unwind and exercise can be challenging, but who says they have to be mutually exclusive?
A perfect way to mix relaxation with exercise is through stretching.
“Experts say that stretching for 20 minutes three times a week will help alleviate the tightness and overuse patterns brought on by daily activities. And doing even a single hour long yoga class or a flexibility-focused group-fitness class each week can also help you build general flexibility.”
Once you relieve tension you were not aware you were holding in your muscles, you feel more at ease, much like after a massage.
But just like any form of exercise, you have to make sure you are cleared to perform certain stretches to be safe and to do them effectively. The Mayo Clinic provides some stretching essentials that I strongly recommend reviewing.
Now let’s move it over to our stretches!
The purpose of the group is to find time to slow down and relax during the busy holiday season.
The first couple of days started with an introduction to Yoga so I did a combination of the following 2 videos she provided:
I not only felt energized to start the day, but I also felt less tension on my body and mind.
Gina’s group was very much needed and she provided recipes, breathing exercises, and words of encouragement to guide us through the busyness. Follow her to join any of her future workout challenge groups!
One of my favorite ways to stretch and strength train is via Pilates.
Joseph Pilates was the creator of the Pilates exercise method with the idea of bringing a balance in body, mind, and spirit via his workout system.
“Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.”
I did a Pilates video with an upper body focus and do not be fooled by the seemingly easy moves:
I was seriously struggling to maintain some of the poses for as long as the stunning Ange (from Ange’s Pilates) did!
Overall, it really helped to maintain a focused mind while helping to build physical strength.
I continued with another Pilates workout that focused more on the core this time:
I found this workout to be more relaxing than yesterday’s because my core is stronger than my upper body and I did not struggle as much through the exercises.
I also learned that we hold most of our tension in our buttocks 😀 At least that is what Alex from the video said.
I turned to Pinterest to do some foam rolling and I have this great infographic on my Fitspiration Board:
I especially love foam rolling my glutes; probably because that is where all the tension is held 😉
I do have to admit that I do not engage in stretches as much as I would like. After doing a week’s worth I desire to keep at least a 1-hour long stretching session a week to gain flexibility and maintain a balance of work and relaxation.
How do you keep moving and find time to relax?