Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Get Healthy Challenge: Week 15

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Welcome to Week 15 of Our Get Healthy Challenge! If you're just joining us, here is what you missed so far - so you can get all caught up. This series is running for the next six months with pro nutritionists, The GetReal Gurls. They are helping us make small changes every week that build upon each weekly task. Our challenge this week?

Stretch Baby, Stretch.

Ever notice how much animals stretch? They must be on to something there. In fact, the act of stretching as part of an exercise routine cool-down or as part of daily life (see office stretches below) can help do two main things:

Improve athletic performance
Decrease the risk of activity-based injuries

Other benefits of stretching? Well, what about a tool to help you "re-focus" while you're at work on a big project; a stimulant-free way to perk you up while on the cusp of the mid-afternoon slump; and a great way to get the blood flowing to parts of the body that tend to stiffen up throughout the day (hello gentle ear to shoulder moves).

Do It: Try incorporating mini-stretch breaks throughout your day. Even try some when you'd otherwise be stationary (brushing your teeth? Stretch those hammies!)

Post It: Tell us which part(s) of your body are the most inflexible (North Americans have notoriously tight hamstrings).

Need to know how to stretch properly? Check out this slideshow from the Mayo Clinic that illustrates 10 Basic Stretches

Office worker at your desk eight hours a day? Check out this slideshow on Stretches You Can do at the Office.

Want a deeper stretch experience? Check out a local yoga class for a stretch and strengthen session. Find a class through Yoga Directory Canada.

--- A. & M.

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