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10 minutes of Stretching (Why it's important) and An Exercise for Better Posture - Fitness Challenge

Day 9 is upon us. Be proud of yourself for getting here and if you're just joining us, welcome. It's never too late to get started. Thank you for taking some time for YOU.

Today I have asked you to complete 10 minutes of stretching.

Flexibility is a priority to full body health. There is more and more research coming out about the importance of movement, muscle systems, and fascia (the casing around different muscle groupings). We are learning more about how fascial systems encase our muscles, play a part in range of motion, and help our body perform together as a team. Fun Fact: If we roll out the bottom of our feet with a tennis ball for a few minutes each, we will stand up straighter and bend over further. 🙂 There is a main fascial system that hooks underneath our feet all the way up to the top of our forehead. Pretty cool hey.

If you'd like to learn more science-y stuff about Fascia and it's anatomy... 🤓 click <HERE> for an article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information explaining the many layers and functions.

When we are dehydrated, our body can feel tight, sore, and even hot. If we are constantly asking the muscles to work (through basic activity) without giving them time to loosen up (by stretching and counter movements) or providing our body with the water and the nutrients it needs... how can we expect to feel in tip-top shape?

Water is our lubricant, coolant, and imperative source for recovery.

Whenever I have a headache... I drink water first.

If I'm stiff... water and stretch.

Too hot... you guessed it, water.

We are basically 40-60% water (gender and age play a roll in the precise amount). Dehydration can happen before symptoms are present and if you're already thirsty, chances are you're already in early dehydration stages. Our bodies also have a hard time absorbing water all at once, which is why it's important to drink small amounts throughout the day. I carry a water bottle everywhere. It helps to keep me accountable to my Minimum 3-750ml bottles/day goal. If you measure your amount by cups, go for it. One big bottle, sure. The main thing is to get enough hydration to fuel our body so we can help loosen up our fascial muscle systems, cool us down (especially if we plan to workout), and also allow our joints to move more smoothly throughout everyday activities.

The 2 main forms of stretching I use are:

Dynamic - This is temporary relief throughout the day. Good to do if the body is cold and just needs a break from sitting, if you're short on time, or during a workout if a muscle (or grouping) feels too tight. Hold each preferred stretch for maximum 6-8 seconds.

Static - This is where permanent change happens and why yoga (or long stretching) can, ultimately, provide a high-quality of movement on a daily basis. Sure the body still gets tight but with regular practice the muscles elongate which provides increased range of motion overall. Each preferred stretch is held for 15+ seconds. Make sure to move in and out of each position slowly to avoid injury.

Just as it is important to work our muscles so we feel stronger, train so our heart and lungs can perform more efficiently, we also need to stretch to provide our body with more flexibility.

Here is a 10 minute Head-to-Toe Stretch Video you can follow along with:

(Important: stay within your own safety zone. These are suggested stretches but listen to how your own body feels. Only extend to a 'comfortable discomfort' until you learn what your body can handle. If something pulls, feels sharp, or incredibly awkward come out the position slowly and then try again at a lesser intensity. Contact me with any questions or for personal instruction. Proceed under your own risk.)

Fitness Focus: 4 Scales / Leg

This is an exercise I use within the majority of my programs. It helps with posture, balance, hip flexibility, trains many muscle groups, opens the chest... oh the benefits! Grab a broom handle and follow along... warm-up the body before doing this exercise. The stretch routine above or the Believe Again Fitness warm-up or a 2-5 min walk should do the trick.

(Important: only go to your range of motion. If you are uncomfortable on one leg maybe attempt just balancing on one leg keeping 3 points of contact with the stick. Maybe even start by just opening the chest to align the stick. Remember, we are where we are... for now. The only thing we can do is start somewhere. For more modifications contact me.)

There we have it. Day 9... in our February Fitness Challenge.

Onward and up!!

Any questions, message me anytime.

Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.

We've got this together.

🌹 Take care all and much love.


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