Tag Archives: Stretching

Stretching Resources

WOW.  I had no idea that my lack of stretching success could inspire others!

Apparently, Kris has my back – she’s stretching this month too now, so that at last one of us is stretching every day.  Thanks Kris!

I am happy to report that I’ve fully embraced this resolution – finally.  And several of you have asked me for resources, so here is a short list.

If you’re anything like me, you may already have many of these in  your house, long forgotten under a pile of old magazines or a dusty closet.  If you don’t have them already, before you buy any of the books or DVDs listed here, consider checking your local public library to see if they have any of these resources you can borrow for free.  Yup, that’s how libraries roll.

Balance Ball Beginners Workout DVD

I already had the balance ball from a previous attempt to begin an in-home workout routine and lo-and-behold it came with a DVD!  It has a nice 15 minute stretching routine which I am using quite often.  Apparently, I like someone telling me what to do, even though I think I am actually smart enough to come up with 15 minutes of stretching exercises on my own.

AM/PM  Yoga for Beginners DVD

I have used this DVD in the past and was able to find a friend who could loan it to me by posting a request on Facebook.    The workouts are 20 minutes, which is just short enough to fit into even the most busy morning routine.  (Full disclosure: there are some days when I have no “morning routine.”)

Lewisburg Area Rec Association (LARA) Pilates Classes

These classes are fairly inexpensive and have a wonderful instructor.  Although I want to hate her for her ballet dancer’s body and incredibly strong abs; I can’t.  She is super sweet, very patient, knowledgeable, and extremely good at explaining Pilates moves in a way that beginners can understand.  If you’re in the Lewisburg area, I strongly recommend these classes.

The Pilates Body, by Brooke Siler

This book was recommended to me by my Pilates instructor.  It’s hard to understand Pilates exercises from writing and drawings (DVDs or in-class instruction is easier), but this book does the best job of those I considered.  I’m keeping it in my gym locker now so I can tack on an exercise or two at the end of every workout.

Stretchware

This is a simple and inexpensive software program that will remind you to stretch while you are sitting at your desk.   You can even download it free for 30 days to try it out without giving anyone your credit card number (amazing!).  If your job involves sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, this is a great tool to keep you alert and productive as well as, well, stretched.

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Filed under Community, Fitness, Resolutions

Just Apply Pressure

Apparently there is nothing like admitting failure to my friends and family in a public forum to motivate me!

Here’s my stretching report since my last post:

Friday            15 Minute Stretch Workout

Saturday      15 Minute Stretch Workout

Sunday          1 Hour Pressure Point Massage

Monday       20 minute AM Yoga plus Post-Squash Stretching

Tuesday       20 minute AM Yoga plus 1 Hour Pilates Class

I am now officially five for eight!

And yes, before you give me a hard time, I am counting the massage as a stretching session because believe me, my muscles were stretched.  And prodded.  If you’ve never had a pressure point massage, then you need to understand that this is not entirely a relaxing, pampering experience.  That being said, my shoulders and neck do feel much better, thank you very much.

Still, this resolution continues to evade me – that is I am not enjoying it as much nor am I finding it as easy to implement.  I’ve decided that part of this is because it is going to take a lot longer to feel the benefits.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure 15 minutes a day will be enough to make much of a difference at all.  It’s true that I feel awesome after my one hour Pilates class every Tuesday evening.  But an hour or two later that feeling goes away.  And after five straight days of stretching I do not feel even the tiniest bit more flexible.

In fact, I might be less flexible.

What’s even more annoying is that a friend did the 20 minute AM Yoga workout with me today and, in spite of the fact that he has never done yoga and he does not stretch ever, he is about 1000 times more flexible than me.  And no, he is not an eight year old.

Wah.

I want instant gratification!  Do you hear me body?  I want to feel limber and I want it now!

What?  You say it doesn’t work that way?  Especially now that I’m, um, in my FORTIES?

Well, fuck you.

And your little dog too.

 

 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Resolutions

One for Four? UGH.

It’s March 4th, and so far I’m one for four.  That’s right.   All I’m trying to do is stretch for fifteen minutes a day and I’ve only done it once so far.  This doesn’t bode well.

My default response to this situation is to reflect, study myself and the situation, identify barriers, and either (a) redefine my goal or (b) implement barrier crushing solutions.  That’s OH SO J, though, isn’t it?

Theoretically, I’m trying to give the analyst part of me a break, embrace living in the moment a bit more, and work toward a less controlled life.  How would a P respond to the situation?

Seriously, I don’t know.

My habit of dissecting my own attitudes and behaviors is so ingrained that I’ve already done it (I have conference tables of Shelbies in my head, remember!) without even trying.  It’s all I can do to keep from typing it out right now.   I mean it – I’m experiencing a physical sense of wanting to burst – something inside of me that JUST.  CAN’T.  WAIT TO GET OUT!

Egad.

I recently read about preference cards on the Happiness Project blog.  The idea is to identify the way you prefer things (at work, in your car, etc.) and write them down so that you are more conscious and intentional about setting things up to match your preferences.  At first I thought this was silly until I wrote down some of my preferences for work and realized that I could easily set up my work environment to better suit my preferences, I just hadn’t been conscious enough of those preferences to bother.

For example, some of the work preference I listed include:

* I prefer to start my day with a cup of tea and some quiet time to collect my thoughts and prepare for the day.
* I prefer to listen to music while I work.
* I prefer a clean desk space.
* I prefer a high-speed Internet connection.
* I prefer to type, rather than write.
* I prefer to talk with someone face-to-face, rather than over the phone or over the phone, rather than via e-mail.
* I prefer to have 15 minutes to prepare for a meeting right beforehand, longer if it is a highly charged meeting.
* I prefer to follow-up to a meeting right afterwords, when possible.
* I prefer to walk to meetings, but I need 15 minutes at least to do so without feeling rushed.
Almost all of these are easy to do, and those that aren’t easy are still within my reach most of the time.
So, instead of taking a very J oriented approach (problem-solution), might a “Stretching Preference Card” be a way to approach the situation without completely giving into my habit of over-analysis?  Or would this just be another outfit for the same body?
I’m going to give it a try:
My stretching preferences
* I prefer to have plenty of space to stretch.
* I prefer to stretch in a place where there are no dogs trying to lick my face.
* I prefer to listen to music while stretching, or to use a work-out video or podcast while I stretch.
Hmmmm.
I like this.
First, it’s a more positive than the approach I would have taken.
Better than “I can’t seem to get out of bed earlier to stretch in the morning.” and “I’ve been sick and then catching up at work so I haven’t been to the gym.” Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine. The instant icky feeling I get from thinking about the resolution from that perspective is unpleasant and unlikely to change my behavior.
Second, these preferences – which I wrote down quickly without thinking too hard – are easy to meet with a few small changes.
I can stretch in my guest bedroom, so I can shut the door and avoid the dogs.  This meets preferences one and two.
With the addition of a iPod payer and a DVD player in the right location, I should be able to meet my music/podcast/video needs.   This takes care of preference three.

I feel in my gut that there are some other preferences that, if ignored, will continue to get in my way.  Do I prefer to stretch in the morning or before bed?  NO IDEA.  Do I prefer to stretch at home or at the gym?  NO IDEA.  Perhaps these preferences will reveal themselves as the month continues.  For now, I will try to honor these preferences and see if anything changes.
For some, this will seem like an awful lot of analysis – hardly the ’embrace the P’ lifestyle I’m trying to create.
But this was SO HARD.  My fingers are still trying to get me to type the reasons why I haven’t been —– STOP IT!
What can I say?  I’m stretching myself with this P thing – haha!  get it?  Stretching myself!

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Filed under Fitness, Myers Briggs

If you give a moose a muffin…

One of my all time favorite children’s books is If you Give a Moose a Muffin, by Laura Numeroff (Author), Felicia Bond (Illustrator).

You see, if you give a moose a muffin, he’ll want some jam to go with it.  And so you’ll bring out some of your mother’s homemade blackberry jam, and then he’ll want another.  And another, and another.  So you’ll have to go to the store to get some muffin mix.  He’ll want to go with you, but it’s cold.  So he’ll need a sweater…and so on.

So here how this book relates to my March resolution – stretching every day for at least 15 minutes.

I want to stretch.  But first I need a yoga mat.

I have one! So far so good!

But I need a nice place to stretch.  Someplace relaxing, inspiring, STRETCH-Like.  I won’t actually do it if I don’t have a nice place to do it.

I have a great view of the river.  But there’s not enough space in my bedroom.  And my living room has the dogs, and other people in it.  I have a great upstairs room that I’ve always imagined as a quiet study.  But I have a roommate, and that room is hers.  So I can’t use that room.

I could get rid of my roommate, but I like her.

I know! I could make the basement room into a yoga room!

But wait, that room is full of books.

So I need to build bookshelves in my spare bedroom so I can move the books out of my basement.  I could do that, though, right?

But then the basement room needs a new ceiling.

But I don’t know how to replace a ceiling.  So I need to ask some friends to help.

But my friends are busy, and few of them have dry wall skills.

So I need to save money for the renovation of my basement yoga room (and perhaps the building of my bookshelves, I mean, let’s be honest).

I know!  The basement yoga room could also be a workout room!  With a new treadmill!  and a TV for exercise videos!  Which means I need to save more money!

Which means, perhaps, that I picked the wrong resolution for March.

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Filed under Fitness, Resolutions