Who has time to stretch? Part 1

 I have a confession… I am awful at stretching. Okay, I’m not bad at stretching in and of itself, but I am bad at making time to actually fit stretching into my workout routine. It’s the last thing I want to spend time doing in the gym. I have often mistakenly thought it a waste of time. If you are anything like me (and I don’t know many people who have an abundance of time on their hands), you are often searching for a good time and enough time to work out. For me, I struggle to get everything done from my never ending “to do” list. It would also be nice to have some time in the day to relax or play with the kiddos, and enjoy some quality time with the husband as well. Often times, I am going going going from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. As is, I wake an hour before my kiddos do just to make sure I get a good quiet time in with God and eat a somewhat peaceful breakfast before the hecticness of the day begins. And since my kids are past the newborn stage I can at least say that I am at least getting uninterrupted sleep most nights. But I think most of us can agree, there just simply are not enough hours in the day.

So when it comes to my gym time I cherish it! As a stay at home mom I am blessed with the ability to go to the gym any morning I choose (as long as my “to do” list isn’t spilling too far off the page). My husband’s employer has a great gym with exceptional childcare staff. I am able to drop my kiddos off (for a pricey fee each visit), and enjoy “me time”. I get my happy gym time bliss while my kiddos do crafts, play games, and socialize with other children (in a room with no television-praise! Well worth the price!).

So, while I am able to go to the gym most days, I am often in a hurry to get my routine done. I have to drop the kids off, give hugs and kisses, go upstairs to the locker room and get ready, pee (yes, because if I don’t I will have to stop mid lifting to do so). I then get my lifting done, usually pee again (yep, I drink that much water), then do a half hour of some sort of cardio, go back to the locker room to get my stuff, and pee again (just so I am not having to go later when I have the kids again-if you are a mom you know bathroom time is precious time). I then super wash my hands (I am always a freak about thinking I am going to bring some crazy germs back to my family after touching all the gym equipment). Also, add in possible chatting and I’m really crunched for time. I am not a big talker at the gym but there are a couple regulars there that I sometimes start chatting with and then find that the clock has just speed up at an alarming rate and that I must quickly fit in the rest of my workout. I then grab the kiddos and drive home to give snacks, then finally take a shower. So while I probably could try to fit in a good stretch at the end of my workout, I often don’t. I usually end up stretching some in the shower and calling it a day. I hate “wasting” my precious gym time stretching when I could be lifting, or running, and, well, occasionally chatting.

But when it comes down to it, stretching is far from a waste of time. And it’s something I need to get better at. So these last few weeks I took some more time to stretch. It was perfect timing since I had taken the last 3 weeks off of cardio. Yep, no cardio for 3 glorious weeks (except for a surprise soccer game I played in last week…they needed a sub). My goal was to put on some lean muscle so I skipped the cardio and focused on lifting. What better time to make more time for stretching? I replaced my cardio time with stretching time during those weeks and I’m so glad that I did. Now it is becoming a good habit even as I get back into cardio and have less time available. I am making a new goal to stretch after every workout… even if I have to wait till I get home to do so.

My hubby took this photo of me stretching at home after a Saturday workout together at the gym.

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How often do you stretch? Do you like to stretch after each workout or do you take a day or 2 for yoga each week? Or are you like me and find it’s hard to find the time? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

Check out part 2 of this stretching post to read about the benefits to, and different types of stretching.

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Cheryl says:

    I must admit I don’t even give stretching much thought. Even though I know I have to stretch before each run, I forget most of the time. Either that, or just like you, I am in such hurry not to “waste time” on stretching. But I realize it is important, so I wil keep it in mind.

    • Kristine says:

      I also never gave it much thought until recently. I know it’s important but I am reading about the different kinds of stretching and the benefits. It really aids in recovery of muscles so as I am lifting more I am finding it speeding up my recovery time. I think I may actually love stretching now. 🙂

  2. I think stretching is really important. I stretch after every single workout, especially after lifting. If I don’t do it, my muscles will be sore and stiff for the next couple of days, and I really feel that stretching speeds up recovery time. I also read somewhere a while ago that stretching makes your muscles grow leaner and longer, which is much more beautiful for a woman. Great article!

    • Kristine says:

      Yeah, I am finding that just in the last month I have had faster recovery time since stretching. I have gained a lot of strength recently and my muscles just feel better and less sore. Thanks for sharing your experience! I wish I had always taken stretching seriously. I am now becoming addicted to it. 😉 I guess that’s a good thing. ha!

  1. November 7, 2013

    […] In part 1 of “Who Has Time to Stretch” I admitted that I have not taken proper time to stretch in years. I did a lot of prenatal yoga when preggers with both kiddos, but other than that I was a “yep, I can reach my toes, I’m good” kinda girl. Sad, I know. I just didn’t feel I had the time to make stretching a priority. Yet in the last month I have been starting to research, and incorporate, stretching into my workout routine. […]

  2. January 22, 2014

    […] where I do the relaxed stretching that puts my body into recovery mode. I used to not think I had time to stretch. However, since incorporating static stretching into the end of my workouts, I can’t […]

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