Garfield's Challenge: Stretch!
Garfield Wilson is the owner of a personal training company called Forward Fitness and one of the trainers from CBC's Village on a Diet.
Have you been keeping up with Garfield? As an enthusiastic supporter of Live Right Now, he's challenged all Canadians to take a weekly Endurance Test! There's no point in a weekly test unless we're doing something in between to take our fitness to the next level, so Garfield has been offering weekly tips:
You know it, I know it, we all know it - stretching is good for you! Stretch for at least 15 minutes a day and you will improve your health dramatically. It's the easiest thing to do, but surprisingly few of us take the time to do it on a regular basis.
Like most men I am not very flexible, and I have a prominent "hockey butt" or, as I call it, a "top shelf" which is consistently tight. If I don't stretch out my hips regularly it will only be a matter of time before my back goes out. Three years ago I subbed in to play volleyball with my wife on her competitive co-ed team. I had played all through high school and in my mind's eye I still had an AMAZING vertical. Well, I still had a pretty good vertical, but I lacked the range of motion my 19-year-old body used to have, back in the day. My back was an absolute mess for the next three days, and that was the last time I neglected my stretching program.
As we get older, our muscles tighten; it limits the range of motion in our joints, affects our posture, restricts our mobility and increases our risk of injury. Decreased flexibility affects your quality of life and your ability to have an active lifestyle, but stretching can reverse all that.
Look at the benefits:
- Improved range of motion in the joints
- Increased circulation
- Increased energy
- Reduced muscle tension
- Decreased risk of injury
- Decreased muscle soreness when you stretch post-exercise/activity
Tired of lower back stiffness from sitting all day? Want to recuperate more quickly from activity? This is my challenge for you this week: find the time stretch every day. It feels good, and your body will thank you for it.
Live Right Now likes these stretches from Canadian Living.