Count your breathing rate, not seconds, while stretching

In everyday life, many individuals finish their workout, look at the time, and completely avoid the stretching section of their workout routine.  For those that do implement a stretching session, the feeling of being rushed and moving on to the next task of the day still lingers.  FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO STRETCH, OR AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE, CHOOSE TO IMPLEMENT STRETCHING INTO YOUR ROUTINE, I have something for you to try.

While going through your normal stretching routine there are factors and thoughts of; pain, strain, discomfort, whether you did the laundry, and what practice you are picking your kids up from that night.  But what if I introduced you to a way that eliminated all foreign thoughts and actually allowed you the opportunity to implement meditation into your stretching routine.  WHOA, HOW?  It’s simple, just breathe, and use your breathing rate in place of the 20 or 30 seconds you count per stretch.

You’ve finished your workout, and you don’t want Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) to kick in the next day or two.  You know, that feeling where you can’t even sit on the toilet or even reach to that top shelf where the sweets are located..  So the main solution and prescription is stretching.  As muscles are exerted during exercise, toxins are created within the fibers of your muscle.  Stretching, in a sense, cures this problem by pushing those toxins out of the muscle and into the bloodstream, where they can be broken down.  Along with the toxins, there are other well-known factors that also builds up in the muscle, and those factors are known as stress and tension.  This is where the breathing and meditation takes over.

From the beginning of your stretch to the end, you need to take all outside factors and flush them away.  Time is not a factor during stretching, and is now replaced by breathing rate.  Concentrating on your breathing rate, during stretching, will not only give you a moment to relax your mind and clear your thoughts but will also allow the muscle to release that added stress and tension you built up during the workout.  How many breathes should I take with this new technique?  A typical inhale to exhale duration will take 5 seconds, depending on how deep you are breathing in.  Do each stretch for 5-10 breathes, and eliminate all thoughts about time!  Worry more about releasing that tension, clearing your mind, and for just a moment let your mind and body go into a state of relaxation.

For information on stretching routines, or types of stretches you should perform after certain workouts, contact me by email: connor@1andonlyfitness.com