Some of you know I am good friends with the beautiful Bess who writes the ever-entertaining Bess Be Fit blog. A few days ago she proposed a challenge: stretch every day for seven days. As someone who regularly practices yoga, I often slack off with stretching on days when I run, lift, walk… or basically do anything but go to the studio.
Eagerly, I accepted the challenge, and after only three days I’m already feeling a difference. My quads loosen up faster after longer runs. My lower back isn’t as tight after sitting in class all day. And overall, I feel more relaxed and rested after unwinding in a 20 minute slow stretch.
So today after suffering through a cold, windy, and rainy 3 miles here…
I returned home, lit my favorite candle, and practically melted into my mat,
By the time I looked at my clock, 25 minutes had flown by and my whole body was feeling warm and rejuvenated.
Heart of Healing goes into wonderfully deep detail about the benefits of stretching if you want further reading. Here is just a brief list of the general ones it mentions:
- relief from pain
- increased energy levels
- increased flexibility
- better range of motion of the joints
- greater circulation of blood to various parts of the body
- relaxation and stress relief
- enhanced muscular coordination
- improved posture
- greater sense of well-being
Heading into the enormous array of papers, projects, and presentations due before graduation, that all sounds pretty good to me! If you’d like to join in the challenge, head over to Bess’s blog and leave her a comment! She’ll add you to the list and fill you in on some cool stretches and foam rolling techniques.
Following one healthy habit with another, I assembled a quick, easy, and absolutely delicious dinner.
I chopped up some vidalia onion (on sale at Whole Foods this week!), sautéed it in some olive oil and threw in a chopped up black bean burger (I love Morning Star). Once warm, I served it on top of some mixed greens and 1/2 a mango. All topped off with
some tons of spicy salsa!
Question: Does anyone else feel ridiculous chopping a mango? Any tricks out there for dealing with that tricky pit?