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Make Stretching a Habit for the New Year

Make Stretching a Habit for the New Year

The New Year is a rush like none other—a chance to start fresh and set intentions for positive transformations. From diet to career to relationships, many areas in your life demand a good makeover. If you find yourself overwhelmed on how to start implementing a healthier lifestyle without burnout, try making stretching a habit in the New Year. Perhaps jumping straight into a strict gym routine is not the answer for long-lasting results, so start smart and small! Stretching offers a wide variety of physical, emotional, and yes, spiritual benefits. Follow these easy tips to incorporate stretching into your New Years' goals!

So, Why Stretching?

Stretching is not only for the athlete! No matter who you are, what you do for a living, or what you do in your spare time—you use your muscles. Like any other part of your body, your muscles need proper care to function efficiently. The benefits of stretching do not end in your muscles either; the health effects reverberate to other areas of your body and mind. Along with physical benefits like increased flexibility, strengthened posture, and a more significant boost of energy, your mind will experience benefits as well! With an intentional daily stretching practice, you'll find improvements to your focus and a calmer mind. With holistic effects such as these, what is there to lose?

How to Make Stretching a Part of Your Daily Routine

Making up your mind is perhaps the easiest step, so how do you make stretching an essential part of your day?

1) Listen to your body for cues: Any habit you establish begins with a cue. For example, when someone who uses alcohol to cope with stressful situations starts to feel their body and mind tense, they will drink alcohol to relax. If you experience feelings of bodily tension, make sure to connect that feeling with the act of stretching to establish the routine. Address the cue, and the practice will follow!

2) Establish a routine on intuition: After establishing the cue, you can now begin to implement the practice. If you feel tense upon waking up and need a jumpstart to your day, make a quick stretch the foundation of your morning routine. If there are feelings of bodily discomfort midday or even perhaps before bed, establish your practice then. Everyone's cues and timings are different, so make sure you listen closely to your wants and needs—use and focus your bodily intuition!

3) Switch it up: After all, we are human! Our needs, stressors, and environments are in constant flux. Be sure to roll with the punches and implement some variety to keep your body and routine fresh, relevant, and fun! Try to pick a new stretch to focus on weekly to keep your muscles and mind alert.

It can be hard to focus on yourself on a very fundamental level. However, if you decide to make a routine stretching part of the new you for the New Year—you will not regret the whole-body effects that will make for a productive and healthy year to come!

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