Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quick Lower Body Stretches and the Nighttime Snack Attack

Getting right into the fitness area, today I was going to change up with my resistance training and walk a 5K after dinner with an organized group downtown.  But at the last minute, it fell through.  So, a quick lower body workout it is.  Followed by some stretching of course.

It's kind of cool that stretching is like my favorite part of my routine now.  It's also the part that gets skipped most often due to time, but I so enjoy it.  There's just something about it that is so rejuvenating - it makes me feel like my body is saying thanks for taking care of it.  Silly, huh?

But in case I haven't shared, here are some of the lower body stretches I do - there are a few more, but these are the "go to" group for me...

It really helps to know how to stretch properly.  I was surprised at how many of these stretches I was originally doing incorrectly (butterfly & calf), but now that I read up on how they're supposed to actually feel while stretching, I am getting so much more out of my stretch routine.  The other stretches are fairly easy because if you just do what's in the picture you get the stretch - though I have found that tilting the pelvis aids a bit in a quad stretch.

Butterfly Stretch

Butterfly stretch  - Sit on the floor or ground and bend your legs so the sides of your feet are touching the ground.  Pull your feet toward your body and get them as close to your inner thighs as possible.  You want the bottoms of your feet to touch.  Grab your feet with your hands and pull your body forward until you fell the stretch in you inner thighs.  Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat. (from Livestrong.com)

Calf Stretch
Calf Stretch - Stand about an arm's-length from the wall.  Lean forward and place both hands on the wall about shoulder width apart.  Extend one foot (the side to be stretched) behind you with heel on the ground and one foot closer to the wall.  Lean into wall with your hips until you feel a stretch in the calf of the extended leg.  Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and change sides.  For a deeper stretch, move your foot farther back.  (from About.com - Calf Stretch for Flexibility)

Quad Stretch
Standing Hamstring Stretch

Ab Stretch

I stuck to my menu plan today until after dinner.  Then I got all snacky - no idea why, except I wasn't satisfied at all with dinner.  Everything tasted blah.  Fortunately all my after-dinner snacks were fairly healthy, but still, I didn't really need those calories.  I can't even say I was hungry, but after the third and final snack I was, FINALLY, satisfied.  Anyway, has that ever happened to you?  It's like you know you shouldn't, but you do it anyway?  Wow, that's a lot like life in general isn't it?  Interesting.

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