(Tony Horton, trainer & creator of P90X)
I heard the term ‘flexitarian' a few years back, and to me it epitomized my philosophy when it came to food and fitness. Finding extremes too EXTREME, I was sick of feeling pressure to be all or nothing when it came to eating, my fitness, or anything else for that matter. Yes, eating well & exercise are important. But so were my time, happiness and desires. I didn’t want a life being a slave to junk food, snickers bars & being unhappy with my body. But I didn’t want to feel guilty every time I ate something with sugar in it.
I had friends who were vegans & vegetarians who would turn up their nose every time I had a piece of cheese, or talked about bacon. I knew those who had started a war against diet coke (not that it’s good for you… I’ll tell you to avoid it too if you can, but ALSO not to feel guilty if you have one every now and then). I knew people who thought vegans were elitist, silly, beings who’s outlook on food was warped since humans are supposed to be omnivores. Studies will show you positives and negatives for literally every single diet out there, yet so many people think their way is the only way. It’s a little nuts (and super confusing for those just starting out!).
Look, no one’s perfect. And life is not a ‘one-size fits all’ thing. Being healthy & learning to be healthier is what it’s ALL about, but everyone will find their own way to get there. And healthy, includes your mental space as well. Change is stressful enough without feeling like you’re being judged by someone.
I love yoga, but after an intense run, or Insanity workout the LAST thing I wanna do is stick around for the stretch. It’s the only part of the workout that consistently feels like work to me (which is funny I know, but this girl likes to move!).
I make some of these mistakes all the time, but it’s good to remind yourself every now and then to make some simple changes. I put a lot of time & effort into this body and I’ll be damned if I let it go to waste! So check out this list of the top 8 stretching mistakes via Huffington Post and see which ones you could improve or add to your routine.
1. Not stretching at all, or forgetting to stretch after a workout.
I can relate to this one because although I love yoga, I hate stretching at the end of my workout. After sweating it out & pushing hard, sometimes the LAST thing I want to do is hold a few stretches. But stretching is just as important as strength & cardio. Squeeze it in!
2. Stretching inconsistently.
Once a week? Not enough. In fact, stretching in short 5 minute bursts throughout the day will boost your energy, get blood flowing & keep you limber. It might sound like a lot if you’re not used to it, but aiming for 2-3 quick stretch breaks throughout the day will give you energy.