The Supercharged Athlete — Stretching

by Kate Strong, World Champion, Long-distance Women’s Triathlon

 

The Importance Of  A Great  S-T-R-E-T-C-H  Routine

 

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going – Jim Ryun

Kate Strong: Pile of Books

 I am a sucker for books, not downloaded content from iTunes or on your kindle, but the real paper variety. I love visiting independent bookshops and scrolling through the titles randomly selecting my next companion for my trips, to sit loyally on my bedside table and sneak into my handbag whilst out dining alone. I adore the smell of a new book as I turn the first page and the feeling of a well-loved book where the stains and marks on the pages are as completing a story as the content.
I digress… I’m losing myself in another passion!

 

Kate Strong: Book Shelf

 

What never ceases to amaze me is the number of self-help books available in the book stores. It seems almost daily there is a new author and title promising great transformation in just 30-days. The area of your life promised to change varies wildly; from weight management, career, relationship with your partner or children… Whatever complication in life, there is a book to assist.

What drew my attention to these books, is the vast majority of their content speaks of one commonality: they all focus of a set period of time to break an old habit and introduce a new and hopefully better one.

This got me thinking about what actions I wanted to create as second nature that would enrich my life. Could I add a task to my daily routine that would benefit me?
Currently, I wake up, check social media on my phone (terrible, I know!), shower, brush my teeth and get dressed almost on auto-pilot; why not add a 10-minute task that will benefit my body to this routine? Social media is checked automatically, and I have only had an on-line presence for 3 years, so there must have been a day without this sub-conscious action…

 

Kate Strong: Frontal Stretch

 

One area I know I lack the willpower to complete regularly is stretching. The jury is still out whether your muscles greatly benefits from stretching. Some articles state that dynamic stretching is required, or stretching after exercise because the muscles are warm, or static stretching 15 minutes prior to exercise… the variables are endless. It is easy to get lost in the research and justify doing nothing!

 

Stretching 101 With Strong Kate!

Stretching 101 With Strong Kate!

 

I personally feel a benefit from stretching. I do feel more flexible and when I stretch regularly, I notice an improvement in overall flexibility, which might reduce the possibility of sustaining an injury. Using this motivation, I have created a 10-minute stretching routine that I can do pretty much anywhere and don’t require any equipment.

 

Kate Strong: Outer Calf Stretch

 

The ten stretches focus on the main muscles used in swimming, cycling and running; which covers your whole body pretty much!

 

Kate Strong: Chalkboard Calendar

 

The key is to carry out these stretches daily for 30-days and instill this activity as routine; something I complete without thinking and with minimal effort.

Are you going to take up the 30-day stretching challenge with me? Please let me know how you did!

 

Kate Strong

 

Kate Strong, aka Strong Kate, is a Welsh-born international traveller. Kate has spread her wings far and wide not only geographically but in every aspect of her life. Having graduated with a double Masters in Mechanical Engineering from French and English universities, Kate has had a diverse career path from working with fashion companies such as Gucci, Diesel and Benetton in Italy, at an environmental protection agency in Russia, to working as a Dive-Master in Mexico! Kate is a 2014 World Champion, Women’s Long-distance Triathlete.

Kate is currently based in Sydney, Australia with the intention to move to the shores of Lake Geneva mid 2015 to develop a conscious-living business promoting health and fitness products and services. Contact Kate with your thoughts and suggestions and follow Kate as she trains for upcoming events.

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