Week #10: Take Time to Stretch– Journey to a Healthier and Happier You


Welcome!!     I am spending the next year working my way through 52 Small Changes:One year to a Happier,  Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal.   Life happens, it happens to all of us.  Our tendency is to say, “I missed two weeks, I might as well give up”.  I don’t believe that, I just keep moving forward at my own pace.  As you can see again, it is a struggle for me to post each week.  I could just sit down and write a number of posts at once, but that would not be the truth.  The truth is I struggle to find time to take care of myself.  I spend most of my time caring for others and neglecting myself.    That is why you see such breaks in my posting.   I have to be honest so you can see the struggle is real and it is real for many people!

So know you are not alone.  No matter what façade we present we all struggle to keep with long term goals.  I wonder how many people had a goal to go to the gym in 2016….are they still going??   I am still focusing on my health though life interrupts me frequently.   You just pick up right back where you were.  Every step forward is progress.  We don’t need to be on any set journey, but a forward moving journey to find health.   Each week I truly think about a change and implement it, the better my health will be.  

So just jump in….where you are!


This Week’s Change:   Take Time to Stretch – Stretch a minimum of 20 minutes three times weekly to maintain flexibility. 

“Blessed are those who are flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape”  Unknown

Many people don’t know that stretching can actually help them achieve a higher level of fitness throughout their life.  As we become older our muscles naturally become tighter, and our range of motion decreases.   I certainly feel this when I don’t stretch regularly.  This decrease in range of motion leave  us more prone to injuries.  Stretching counters this and helps to release and manage stress.

The great thing about stretching, it can be done anywhere without equipment.  Bret Blumenthal recommends the following stretches to get you started.

Upper Back Stretch
Chest Stretch
Quadriceps stretch
Hamstring Stretch
Lower Back Stretch
Calf Stretch
Shoulder Stretch
Back of Neck Stretch
Side of Neck Stretch
Biceps Stretch
Triceps Stretch

My Current Habit: I tend to hold a lot of my tension in my upper back which leads to migraine headaches.   But regularly stretching, I have been able to decrease my headaches.   I suffer from chronic back pain due to a roll over car accident 11 years ago. Pain is a daily occurrence for me.  By stretching I find my pain is decrease and have less migraines.  A while back I discovered a You Tuber named Jill Hillman.   She has many yoga videos that are specifically for pain management regarding the back.   I found such relief doing these videos.  

After realizing how beneficial yoga was to me, I started participating in a weekly Yoga class at work.  So once weekly over lunch I have a yoga class at my office. 

Changes I would like to make: I would like add a stretching time twice weekly in addition to my weekly yoga class.  

Last Week’s Change: Carve out Time for yourself each day.  

How did you do last week??    I had a difficult week of staying up too late so didn’t wake up at 5:00am, but am back on schedule now and feeling good!!  Accomplishing more, planning my day, utilizing my time better and reading each day.

Stop by next Wednesday for the next change and to share your progress. 

Previous Changes:

1.   Hydrate with water.
2.   Get 7 – 8 Hours of Sleep
3.   Get Routine Activity Every Day
4.   Keep a Food Journal
5.   Develop an Optimistic Outlook
6.   Multivitamin Daily
7.   Keep Allergens Out of Your Home
8.   4 to 6 Servings of Vegetables a Day
9.   Carve Out Time for Yourself
10. Take Time To Stretch


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