Cape Gazette

Fitness Friday: 1-2-3 and stretch

By Rachel Swick Mavity | Feb 10, 2012
Source: Google images Go on - touch those toes!

Ah, stretching. It's the body's way of waking up and it helps connect muscles to the mind.

While stretching is a great precursor to any workout, I also enjoy stretching just to wake my body up.

Sitting on the floor and stretching toward my toes helps wake up my brain and get me ready for the day. It brings a great sense of optimism and calm for me. I feel each muscle wake up and revive itself, and it reminds me that humans are many working parts.

We do not walk only because we will ourselves to walk. We walk because all our muscles and bones work together to allow us to walk.

Just watch a baby try to take his first steps. It takes a lot of concentration to pick up that foot, put it down and then move the body to take the next step. We adults sometimes take it for granted.

(Insert soapbox here.)

In today's fast-paced society we take a lot for granted. Don't even get me started on how we take food for granted; but besides food, we even take motion and work for granted.

Everyone always wants to make another dollar, get a new car, get faster, leaner, meaner, stronger, prettier, and etc.

As Americans most of us have it pretty good. We have clean water, plenty of food, generally-decent jobs and fresh air to breathe. Even with the down-economy of late, most people in Delaware have been able to find work. Sussex County has fared even better in some cases because of the tourism and agriculture industries here.

There is a lot to be thankful.

(She steps off soapbox.)

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, stretching. For the next week, try stretching each morning and evening. See if these simple body-awareness moves perk up your mood. I know they do for me.

Suggestions for stretching:

• Sitting on the floor with legs out in front, reach for your toes. Try doing it in a V-sit position as well.

• Standing up, again reach for your toes.

• Sitting in your office chair, twist from side to side and feel those back muscles thank you.

As always have a great weekend in the drool kingdom, see you back here Monday!

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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.