Travel season is an exciting time full of new adventures and experiences. But let’s face it, long flights, bus rides, and car trips can take a toll on our bodies. That’s why it’s essential to make stretching a part of your travel routine. Not only does it feel great, but it also has numerous benefits that will keep you feeling your best during your travels.
First and foremost, stretching helps to improve circulation, which is crucial when you’re sitting for extended periods. Sitting for long periods can cause blood to pool in your legs, leading to discomfort, swelling, and even blood clots. By stretching, you can help get your blood flowing and prevent these issues from arising.
Stretching also helps to reduce stress and tension in your muscles. When you’re traveling, you’re likely carrying bags, walking long distances, and sitting for extended periods—all of which can lead to muscle tension and soreness. By stretching, you can release this tension and feel more relaxed.
Additionally, stretching can help improve your posture. When you’re sitting for long periods, it’s easy to slouch or hunch over, leading to back and neck pain. By stretching your back, shoulders, and neck, you can help improve your posture and reduce discomfort.
But stretching isn’t just good for your body; it’s also good for your mind. Taking a few minutes to stretch can help you relax and de-stress, which is especially important when you’re traveling. Traveling can be overwhelming and taking a few minutes to stretch can help you clear your mind and refocus.
So, how can you incorporate stretching into your travel routine? It’s easy! Start by taking a few minutes to stretch before you leave for your trip. Focus on stretching your legs, back, shoulders, and neck. During your trip, take breaks to stretch whenever you can. Whether you’re on a plane, bus, or car, take a few minutes to stand up and stretch your legs.
These are some of our favorite self-stretches, approved by our experts, demonstrated by Devin, one of our Stretch Therapists from our UES studio in NYC.
We recommend doing 3-5 reps of each stretch.
You’ve earned your time away from work and your day-to-day life routines! Get the most out of your vacation by feeling your best from the time you leave the house, to the day you return. Your body and mind will thank you. Safe and healthy travels!
One of my favorite things about being a LYMBR therapist is learning all the ways to help my body during my pregnancy! I have 3 favorite stretches that I do daily to help with the aches and pains that I get from my pregnancy. However due to a hormone that is released during pregnancy called relaxin you have to be very careful not to over-stretch yourself when doing self stretches. The relaxin hormone is produced to allow your skin and muscles to stretch during pregnancy to prepare your body for the growth of the baby.
I love to stretch my gastrocnemius muscles (calves) out due to getting pregnancy cramps (especially at night). This is also helpful because your calves tend to counteract the weight gain from the belly region during pregnancy. The calf muscles for me personally are normally one of my tighter muscles, so during pregnancy I do my diligence to take care and make sure to stretch them every day for at least 5 minutes.
The second stretch that I love to do is for my quads. My quads, just like my calves, are regularly very tight, so during pregnancy they do feel a lot tighter than average. The quads due to the belly growing during pregnancy are already getting slightly stretched so you want to be careful not to over-stretch yourself. I stretch this region of my thigh for about 5 minutes a day as well.
Lastly, the third stretch that I find crucial for aches and pains during pregnancy is a stretch we do for back rotation during pregnancy called “open book”. This stretch helps with my lower back pain and can even help with some pain between my shoulder blades with the different variations that can be done. The “open book” stretch is a great way to open up the chest area to help with posture to help to relieve the pain between the shoulder blades. I do this stretch for about 5-10 reps with each different variation.
Let us know if there are other stretches you would like to learn about to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy. We’re here to help you take good care of yourself!
Written by Elizabeth Rivera, Darien Stretch Therapist and Expectant Mom.
What does it mean to be proactive versus reactive when it comes to health?
When I think of being proactive, I think of taking necessary steps to either elicit or prevent a specific outcome. When I think of being reactive, I think of reacting to problems as they come in. These definitions remain consistent with regards to your overall health.
What do both of those things look like?
Proactive individuals will do things like daily stretching, managing water and food intake, exercise, regular doctor visits, etc. Reactive individuals typically don’t take these steps until their health starts to fail, or they get injured. Being proactive doesn’t mean your health won’t or can’t take a turn, it just greatly reduces the chances of that happening. Furthermore, a perfect picture for proactive health practices is totally subjective, as every body and every lifestyle are different. What’s not subjective are the underlying mechanisms behind the proactivity. You are taking steps, getting prepared, and doing what you need to do to be healthy.
Reactive individuals are typically the opposite. Reactive individuals are often stuck in a loop of “go, go, go”, until they can’t go anymore because something has come undone. The best way to break that cycle is to add new habits that let you stay busy and active without getting derailed. If you have a tight schedule, then start to schedule your workouts like you schedule your meetings. If you’re too busy to shop for healthy food which forces you to eat out too much, sign up for a meal service. Don’t know how to stretch or what to do when you’re feeling stiff? Start by just standing up and moving more, and add some simple dynamic stretches to do every day for 5 minutes: that’s all it takes.
We would be remiss to not reinforce that proactive stretching is key
Proactive stretching is like building a solid foundation for a house. When the storm comes rolling in, you may not escape completely unscathed, but your foundation will prevent the likelihood of the entire structure breaking down. This is the same when you make stretching part of your weekly routine. Regular stretching will keep your body mobile and prepared for your long workdays at your desk or on your feet, and your weekend warrior activities.
What does a proactive routine look like?
When you get out of bed in the morning, stretch for 5 minutes. Get the oxygen and blood flowing!
Eat a healthy breakfast, drink a probiotic or prebiotic supplement for digestion.
Go about your day, making sure you stand up and move around for at least a few minutes every hour to let your tissues breathe and get your cells moving.
Get some exercise. 12-30 minutes is a good amount, especially if you’re just starting out.
Make sure to fuel up when you’re done, whether that’s food or a shake (food is always better).
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid waiting until you feel thirsty to grab your water bottle.
Add a weekly assisted stretch to your schedule to stay on top of imbalances that may be creeping up on you.
Get a quality night of sleep (8 hours). Avoid staring at a screen one hour before you go to bed.
Rinse and repeat.
Small steps, consistent effort, and grace with yourself are excellent metrics for proactive health practices.
Written by Conner Fritchley, LYMBR Academy Instructor.
As another year comes to a close, we tend to reflect on the year behind us and resolve to make changes in the year ahead. Many of you will be starting your new year heading to a nutritionist, the newest fitness studio in town, or hiring a personal trainer. While eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise are great ways to accomplish your fitness and wellness goals, have you devised a plan to keep yourself on track? Right now, the idea is fresh in your head, but after weeks of diligently eating healthy foods and unending soreness from your new fitness routine, it’s no surprise that nearly 66% of us will have fully abandoned our goals by January 19th. The health and wellness journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you’re not prioritizing your recovery and relaxation then you’re putting yourself at a stark disadvantage.
Why does resolution abandonment happen?
Most resolutions focus on doing things you don’t enjoy doing or don’t make time to do. Eating healthy is hard, and it takes time to build a recipe book of tasty, healthy recipes. That means there is an interim time where you are eating things that are not satisfying and those cravings still exist for less healthy options. Taking on a new exercise routine can be difficult and is extremely nuanced. It takes time and dedication to establish a routine. For these reasons, many people throw in the towel early without ever getting to see the results they are after. Finally, and ultimately the most important factor in abandonment is an early injury. Many clients we see coming through our doors experience a training injury within 1-2 weeks after starting a new program. At this point your muscles, tendons, and tissues are de-conditioned and they’re screaming for you to relax and recover. I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs, but it’s important to reiterate: Relaxation is a state of healing for the body. It’s important to keep your body and mind in a positive state to keep your health and enthusiasm going well into the new year.
So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen?
The answer is simple; Make your resolution a trifecta of nutrition, exercise AND recovery. Pick a few recovery options that you find enjoyable. This can come in many forms such as a trip to a salt cave, massage, relaxing yoga and of course, stretching. Our studios are a popular choice for our clients since It’s not strenuous and the benefits are felt immediately. We have a lot of partners in the recovery space so if you’re looking for ideas, please ask a member of our team!
So why LYMBR?
The main reason why you should choose LYMBR as one of your resolution maintenance tools is this: It keeps you in the game for the long run. The longer you can go with your new routine, the faster you will progress and the quicker you will hit your goals. Sustainability and adherence are the two most important factors when starting any health and wellness journey. I assure you, whether your goal is to run an Ironman or you seek a healthier, fitter body, if you don’t give your muscles the care they need on your off-days, tightness and movement dysfunctions will most likely derail your goals. Hence the message of this article: Resolutions are hard enough without a sore low back, a pulled hamstring or a stiff shoulder. When it comes to recovery, be proactive, never reactive.
Written by Conner Fritchley, LYMBR Master Trainer.
It’s that time of year when we set new fitness and wellness goals for the new year. We put a lot of emotion and energy in setting these goals and picture ourselves succeeding. When you are confident in how your body moves and feels, you’ll have the best chance at not only meeting your goals, but exceeding them.
Starting or increasing a fitness routine with an ill-prepared body means a greater likelihood of injury and a greater likelihood that the injury will derail you. You deserve the best change to be successful.
Here are a few ways adding stretch protocols into your daily life will allow your body to feel restored and at its best to make sure your goals stick for the long run.
REDUCES LIKELIHOOD OF INJURY Areas that often have more stress placed upon them when starting a new fitness routine include the low back, knees, and hips. If your starting point is a mostly sedentary lifestyle, sitting and lack of movement for an extended period of time stiffens and shortens the muscles. When a new fitness regimen is initiated, the involved areas will be going through greater ranges of motion they may not be used to, leaving them more prone to injury.
Our active method of stretching allows the muscles to be properly warmed up and lengthened before starting an activity. Blood flow and oxygen to the muscles is increased, providing protection to the joints. Muscle imbalances are lessened when stretching as well, allowing the body to have better mobility and alignment to properly grasp the technique of the activity. Active stretching combined with a light warm-up prior to exercise will minimize the risk of getting injured when starting a new routine.
IMPROVES POSTURE AND ALIGNMENT Stretching helps to correct any muscle imbalances in your posture. Soon after starting a new fitness routine, you may notice a shift in your posture. You may find your posture improving, as you are strengthening muscle groups to help you stand taller and straighter. On the contrary, new fitness routines may also negatively impact posture. If you are beginning a new routine with less than ideal posture, chances are you will have improper form in your workouts and increase the likelihood of pain and soreness. For example, if you start with shoulders that are rounded and elevated, your range of motion and body positioning will be unnatural and compromised. Stretching the upper body will help lower the shoulders and lengthen the spine reducing compensations and allowing you to perform your activity properly. Stretching aims to restore the muscles to their optimal length and position.
Similar to posture, new fitness routines will affect the body’s alignment. A properly aligned body will have the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles all in line. Keeping all of these joints linear will place less stress on the spine to help better your posture.
IMPROVES RANGE OF MOTION If you are a regularly active person, you will find that incorporating stretching routines into your daily life will enhance your workouts. The increase in range of motion associated with stretching will allow you to perform your best. For example, stretching the hip flexors and quads will allow more range of motion to help squat deeper and put more power into spinning. Stretching the upper body, like the pecs and shoulders, will allow greater mobility to be put into those boxing workouts. The lengthening and lightness felt throughout the body from implementing these stretch routines will aim to increase performance.
REDUCES SORENESS AND PROMOTES RECOVERY Any soreness post-workout is not problematic: it is your body letting you know it is adapting to the new stresses placed upon it. Excess soreness, however, can leave you feeling tight, fatigued, and unmotivated to keep up with your routine.
Stretching after a workout, whether it be directly after or the following day, will alleviate sore muscles. Even a few minutes of stretching will increase blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to those tender areas. This will not only reduce soreness after a workout; it will properly prepare you for your next one.
Whether you are a fitness novice or looking for new ways to maximize those workout gains, prepare your body now. Get a head start now and make 2023 the year you crush your fitness goals. Incorporating stretching into your daily life before you begin your new fitness routine will leave your body feeling ready to take on any workout you set your mind to. Keeping stretching in your routine will keep you on track way past the time most people drop their new year routine. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and restored body in the new year.