PERSONAL STRETCHING ROUTINE
How do I create a stretching routine?
It is very important to create a personal stretching routine that you do every day. Before creating a stretching routine you must first choose to dedicate a certain portion of your time to the regimen. The best intentions to embark on a 30 minute daily stretching routine can fall flat if you do not have 30 minutes in a day to do it. So be wise when choosing how much time you want to dedicate to stretching. If you only have 5-10 minutes at work or five minutes before bed, that is ok. Design your stretching routine around the time you have. As you stay consistent with the routine you will probably find that you will begin to dedicate more time because you are finding that you enjoy it greatly.
The videos in this program are to be used to help you learn how to do each stretch. If you are designing a stretching routine around a specific area such as your low back, then you will want to choose stretches that are specific to that area. For instance, if you have low back pain you will want to develop a routine that is specifically designed to help stretch your low back. This routine will target this area and may relieve the pain in your back. It is important to remember to stay consistent with your routine because you will probably not see immediate results. Stretching for pain relief or flexibility takes time. Stretching for stress management is typically more immediate. When creating your personal stretching routine choose the amount of time that you will hold each stretch. If you have a stretch that you particularly enjoy more than others, you may want to hold this stretch longer. Choosing exactly how much time you will do each stretch helps provide focus to your stretching regimen. If you do not know how long you will hold each stretch you may have the tendency to rush through the routine thereby missing out on the benefits.
If you are designing a stretching routine specifically for stress management then try to incorporate as many stretches that affect different parts of the body that your time allotment allows. When using a stretching routine for stress management it is most important to focus on the principles of effective stress management. These principles include; relaxation, proper breathing, and mental focus.
How do I keep track of my stretching?
There are many ways to keep track of your stretching. Included in this program is a Daily Stretching Chart that can be hung up on your refrigerator, at work, or where-ever you do your stretches. In order to maximize the benefit of this Daily Stretching Chart make sure that it is placed in a location that you will see it every day. This way it will help remind you to do your stretches. After you have chosen which stretches to perform, write them in your Daily Stretching Chart. Then each day after you perform your stretches you will mark an “X” in the corresponding box. It may be effective to reward yourself after you have completed a certain number of days in a row. For example, after one weeks time of performing your 10 minute stretching routine you may want to reward yourself with a 30 minute walk in the park. Or you may want to treat yourself to a movie that you have wanted to see. It is not recommended to use food as a reward. Using food as a reward can cause negative health related issues.
Should I stretch alone or with others?
You may do both. This program is designed to help you create your own personal Stress Management Stretching Program but you may choose to get together with some friends a few times a week to go through a stretching program. Accountability is one of the most important factors as to if you will stick with a stretching program. So find some friends and have fun with it.
What types of goals should I set?
Millions of people each year set goals to improve their athletic skill, increase their pay at work, and lose weight. Stretching is no different. In terms of stress relief, you must know your starting point and know where you want to head. One effective tool to measure stress is to use a ten point scale. Ask yourself, “On a scale from zero to ten, zero being no stress and ten being extremely stressed, how stressed am I?”. After you create this starting point, write down on a piece of paper a number that you will reach. Maybe your goal stress level is zero. Maybe it is a two or a three because you realize that stress, when effectively managed, can help provide you a competitive edge at work or extra curricular activities. After you have found your base stress level and have created your goal level, create your personal stretching routine or go through one of the already created routines on a daily or bi-daily basis. Each day go through your routine and begin to measure your stress levels. It is important to record your stress levels at the same time each day. Track your stress levels throughout the weeks and you will notice that your levels will significantly decrease over time. You will begin to learn to effectively manage your stress.