Stretching—What’s My Deal?

Stretch imageIt seems as if when it comes to stretching, there’s an endless debate running—when is it best to do? Pre-workout? During? Right after? And, perhaps more importantly, is stretching beneficial to overall athletic training and performance?

I for one am sold on stretching, because when I do it regularly (15 minutes/day), my body feels much better. In particular, my sticky spot—hips—feel looser and remain pain-free, and I avoid what could be a chronic right-shoulder twinge. Plus, as I fossilize, I’m assuming that stretching regularly (along with regular cardio and weights) is another self-preservation tactic.

It’s very unfortunate then, that what I do struggle with concerning stretching is “why can’t I get it done consistently?” Especially because not only do I see improvement via stretching, I’m NOT naturally bendy/flexible—I have to work at it.

I am able to identify some of my most obvious roadblocks:

–I feel rushed to snag a lane before swimming

–Stretching isn’t easy to do in the water right after practice (heck, I can’t stand up in one pool I frequent—too deep).

–I feel rushed after weights (swim + weights=got…to…get…back…to work!)

–By the time I arrive home post-swim, I want to eat. And then I’m tired…

–Stretching is boring (even when listening to my iTunes or watching TV)

–I’m already pools and gyms so much, it’s hard to motivate going back to the gym for yoga. Especially when class times are the same times I swim. Or eat. Or sleep.

But as of yet, I’ve been unable to sort of when/where is the best time for me to stretch, the queues that help me build stretching into a habit. Any suggestions, readers?

Next week: Dry Brushing Your Skin: How and Why

Stretching—What’s My Deal?

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