74 to 126
Mat, No Equipment
Pilates, Warm Up/Cool Down, Yoga/Stretching/Flexibility
Stretching and maintaining flexibility and range of motion is an important factor in living a long, healthy, quality life. You can use this stretching workout as a thorough cool down, a rest day workout, or a relaxing routine to do before winding down for sleep at night.
Feel free to adjust the moves as you need to to feel the stretches where you are most tight, and don't be afraid to modify if a stretch is too easy or too difficult for you. If you come across a stretch in the video that you can't do, don't get discouraged, just move into a stretch that you know and are comfortable with. Stretching can bring feelings of mild tightness and slight discomfort, but you should never push to the point of pain. Think of stretching as a conversation with your body, and stay tuned in to the messages it sends; lean lightly and gently into each position but never force anything. To be safe, always talk to your health care professional before starting into any exercise program.
Sometimes, we all just need to slow down! We've all got deadlines and an endless list of things that we need to take care of, and a lot of times self-care gets lost in the shuffle. Exercise is probably one of the first things to go when life gets really hectic, considering the most common reason people give for not being physically active is a "lack of time". It's bigger than that though, too.
Even people who do exercise may do so just to scratch another line off of their to-do list - which is great - but how often do you just move, not to burn calories, burn fat or build muscle or reach any kind of goal, but to just treat your body to a nice, feel-good stretch and a little patch of time where your brain is not racing from one task to the next?
A year or two ago I started doing these stretching sessions that I considered goal-less stretching, in a way. I started into it with no expectation at all, except maybe hoping to lower my stress levels and fight back against muscle tightness that comes from being on a computer all day. My stretching turned into a real habit and I "accidentally" gained a lot of flexibility, quieted a few (very) old nagging injuries from sports, and gained a little spot in my day where I wasn't racing towards any kind of goal, instead just moving slowly through an unplanned set of mild-moderate stretches for an unset amount of time. It can be hard to "shut off" after being "on" all day long, but this relatively aimless movement has been a game changer both mentally and physically.
I encourage you to carve out a little time in your day for that kind of movement. No end goal in mind, sweat, timers, dumbbells, or "beast mode" (all things that are completely okay to love) just brain and body quiet, in a form of more intuitive, gentle movement. Stretches like you see in this video work for me, but you may find that something completely different appeals to you, so be open!