In the constant quest to keep in shape for camming, it can be tempting to skip stretching in your daily routine.
Everyone has their baggage of why they sweep it under the carpet (and if you are one of the folks who don’t – good for you!). Reasons can vary from being too busy, results not happening quick enough, frustration on your lack of flexibility, forgoing it to do more hardcore exercise, not having a program that you enjoy, and well, INSERT YOUR EXCUSE HERE, because many of us invested in staying trim avoid stretching like the plague.
Yet, stretching along with improving balance are almost more important than that hardcore fitness you’re addicted to because it keeps you from getting injured in daily life. Further, stretching enhances performance during exercise, makes you stronger, and the biggest perk of all – your whole body just feels better.
For my excuse, I used to always skip it because I was so invested in burning calories. I was terrified I’d pack on the pounds if I took time away from the gym to stretch. I never did gain weight from taking off a few days to limber up, but I did pay for avoiding it with chronic ankle problems. But it’s never too late to turn that around, and now I manage those problems through a good stretch and balance program.
According to Harvard Health, ideally you should be stretching two to three times a week in addition to your workout routine.
Personally, I find stretching at least a few minutes before and after every workout makes a huge difference but the big game changer for me was incorporating a longer stretch program into my schedule – 40 minutes or more, twice a week. I’m able to fit this in by swapping my workout days with stretch – I know, I know, you love the adrenaline rush, and can’t bear to take a day off, but I promise if you focus on it twice a week for a longer period of time, you’ll find you have less burnout in your daily workouts and your muscles cooperate more.
Linda Wooldridge, the creator, really taught me the importance of investing in stretching through her monthly calendars – two full days a week are set aside for stretching. Later when I tackled her weekly rotation section, I religiously continued the stretching schedule and the results have been fantastic. Now I feel off if I don’t do it.
If you’re at a loss for how to get started I highly suggest heading to her channel, searching for her stretch videos and seeing if they work for you. Sometimes it’s just finding the right type of workout that gets you inspired, so if those aren’t your jam, keep searching to find some that are.
The important thing is to commit, your body will thank you!
Photo credit: iStock.com/Prostock-Studio
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via email@example.com.