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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Take Time to Stretch

I became acquainted with one of our lovely readers this last week. Her name is Dawn and in 10 months since her surgery she has lost 110 lbs. What is more remarkable – she has done this while managing an extremely demanding lifestyle. She explained that for the last nine years she has had two daughters in college and graduate school. One just completed her medical degree, the other is in her second year. To help her daughters Dawn runs her own business by day and works a second full-time job at night. She literally does not have time to take care of herself.

She wrote, ” This pace leaves NO time for cooking - and while I would love to exercise, I just don't know when I could do it.”

It is perfectly understandable Dawn doesn’t have time to prepare meals or to exercise. As you know here at LivingAfterWLS we encourage commitment to the four rules. At the same time we do not judge one another for how we manage our lives. We all have different circumstances and I believe we are doing the best we can to make right our health with WLS.

When I was considering Dawn’s situation I remembered an article from June titled “Shake the Wiggles Out.” Ahh-HA! Here is something even Dawn can fit into her schedule – some quick stress-busting stretches. So I’m pulling it forward today for Dawn and everyone else out there in the rat race! Next I’m going to stand up and give myself a little shake!

Best wishes Dawn for your continued success with WLS! Thank you for sharing yourself and your story with us!

Shake The Wiggles Out!

Without any doubt, flexibility or stretching is my favorite part of the fitness triangle (strength, cardio, flexibility). It just feels so great to give the body a good stretch! Is there anything more sensualistic than watching a cat stretch after waking from an afternoon nap?

Flexibility gives us a chance to breathe deeply and slowly oxygenating the muscles. It is an opportunity to clear the mind and release stress. At the same time it can give muscles a more elongated appearance; improve posture and range of motion. It is the finishing touch to building a beautiful healthy body.

Stretching, like the cat, should be a soothing, sensual experience.

The very first fitness activity we ever enjoyed was bending and stretching. As infants we were placed on blankets on the living room floor to bend and stretch and reach our toes to the oohs and coos of adoring family.

In kindergarten our teachers asked us to stretch on tippy-toes and reach up to the sky. Then bend over and touch our toes. Maybe swing our arms overhead like a big tree in the wind. The teacher may have even asked us to shake all the wiggles out! Didn’t that feel good?

And then life got serious and we quit moving.

Well, it’s time to go back to basics and get stretching, bending and shake the wiggles out!

Starting each day with the basic stretches we’ve known since childhood is an excellent thing to do for your body. The best way to improve flexibility is stretching. When you stretch, extend yourself to a comfortable point and hold it for eight to ten seconds. Let your body tell you how far you should stretch. Move slowly, breathe evenly and do not bounce.

Don't worry who's watching - get up now and treat yourself to a good stretch! Your body and your mind will thank you.

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