This week's Coach Tip is the first in a series about how the little things actually add up to become the big things. Small, managed efforts over time do add up. Think of it like a bank account; even if you add just $1 per week, you still save $52 at the end of a year. The same can be said of your personal and time investment in your health, wellness, and training.
So this week's tip is to STRETCH!! The Team MPI athletes who I work for can testify that I talk about this until I'm blue in the face. (Seriously, just ask them.......) Carve out 10-20 minutes a day to stretch. Your goal is this: stretch every major muscle group for 2:00 per day. If you do this every day for six weeks, you will reap tremendous benefits from it, no matter what you're doing (activities of daily living, walking, swimming, running, or cycling, etc.). If you stop stretching every day, it only takes two weeks to undo six week's worth of work. You can do this when you get out of bed in the morning, when you're watching TV with your family at night, or on a break at work. Get creative!! I promise you can carve the time....it's there!!
When you hold a static stretch (what we typically think of as "stretching"), hold it for a minimum of 30 seconds. There's an awesome little thing in our muscles called a Golgi Tendon Organ, and it only signals the muscle tissue to relax at approximately 30 seconds into a static stretch. So basically, if you release the stretch prior to that, you aren't reaping the full benefit of the stretch. Don't shortchange yourself!!