Today is a very special day: it is my mother-in-law’s birthday! She’s turning the big 50! So first and foremost, I would like to wish her a Happy Birthday!
I remember my dad turning 50 two years ago. If my memory doesn’t betray, he was somewhat depressed for a couple of weeks prior to his birthday and didn’t even want to talk about celebrating it. So what we did, we surprised him! *POOR GUY!* And I don’t blame him, it’s a big milestone! But then, on the day of, he said: “Screw this, I’m still young! 50 is the new 30! I’m going to enjoy my life to the fullest!”*GO DAD!*
In my opinion, we put too much thinking into it. 30, 40, 50 – they are only numbers… And we dread them! I still have a few years to go, but jeez, I’m dreading 30!!! Aren’t you?! But then, as they say, you’re only as young as you feel. I couldn’t agree more! *It does help that I look 18 without makeup!!! Haha!*
Of course, there are multiple factors that affect the way we feel and look, like our diet and lifestyle. However, today I would like to focus on stretching. Stretching exercises can help you not only to loosen up your whole body, they can help you age gracefully! *Personally, I’m sold!* Furthermore, better flexibility can decrease risk of injuries and improve your overall physical performance.
If you choose to be lazy, your muscles will tighten with age, which will obviously affect your lifestyle since your joints won’t have the same range of motion. And it’s a big NO-NO!
As someone who runs a lot *and as a gymnast by training*, stretching is my life savior: it reduces stress, helps weight loss, eases pain, and even improves my running time!!! How can you say no to this, HELLO?!?!
One of my favorite websites lately has been Runner’s World. Not so long ago, I found an interesting article on stretching there, and I would love to share with you a few exercises that have been really helpful. *Please, make sure that you warm up prior to doing any of them.*
- strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankle
- helps relieve stress
- helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- relieves backache
- Stretches the spine, shoulders and wrists (in the full pose), hips, and hamstrings
- Strengthens the legs
- Helps digestion
- Stretches the front leg’s hamstring and the back leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps
- Reduces stress
- Improves circulation
- Stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
- Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins
- Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure and insomnia
- Gently stretches the inner groins and the back spine
- Reduces tension in the back
What are your favorite stretches? What do you do to stay forever young?