Last year I challenged myself to complete 31 days of exercise. You can read about it here. At the end I offered the following tips:
You need a plan
You need to think about it before you start.
So, this year, I haven’t prepared a plan and I haven’t given this any thought as I start a new 31 day challenge to stretch every day of January.
This year, to try and change my attitude to exercise, I’m going to try and learn more about stretching, Yoga and taking care of my body.
I’ve never stretched before exercised, just as I don’t snack before having a meal or wash before having a bath. I’ve always thought stretching and warming up was something you did by doing the very thing you’re warming up for. If you want to warm up for a run – run the first mile. Easy.
But, having finished the year with various niggles, pains and stiff muscles, I thought it would be more challenging to try and stretch than to try and repeat last year’s challenge. Let’s try something new instead.
So, yesterday I started by… not reading my tips from last year. Instead I picked two videos at random from YouTube which were picked purely on a “20 mins stretching” search “morning stretching” and then picking videos by two men rather than two women, which isn’t sexist. Or maybe it is. My sole thought was “men stretch differently from woman because male and female bodys are different”. By the end of the month, I’ll work out if this is true or whether I have just been an idiot.
To continue my lack of preparation, I didn’t use a mat or even change in shorts and t-shirt. I used the carpet, I took off my trousers (as even I knew that you can’t stretch in jeans) and followed the videos. Was it graceful? No! Was it decent? Possibly not either! Did it work? Well, I do feel slightly less stiff than before I started. Whether that’s physical or the placebo of thinking I’m better because I’ve done something and if I’ve done ‘something’ then I must feel better. I don’t know. But I’ve got 30 days to find out. (And to find proper clothes).
Day 1 Videos