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Movin’ Together – It’s a Stretch!
Has your get up and go got up and left? Well, it’s time to get it back! Whether you are 65 years old like me, Sara, a 20-year-old like Morgan, or even 6 like Julianna, we can all practice healthy habits that make us feel better and want to get going! We are women, encouraging women of all ages—to be their best, feel their best, look their best, and do their best for others as women of strength.
This time we are discussing great shoes, stretching, and posture!
Pick shoes that are designed to meet the needs of your particular activity! A specialized pair of shoes are an investment that has lasting benefits. What does a really good shoe do for the wearer? According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, proper-fitting shoes can enhance performance and prevent injury. There are running, training, and walking shoes. Walking shoes can be further broken into classifications such as hiking, jogging, and exercise walking shoes.
For the past nine years, I have ordered my New Balance shoes from In My Shoes. I have a narrow fit, and I found that the New Balance narrow fits me the best. In My Shoes is one of our family of advertisers here at WHP. Nancy Brooks helped Morgan and I find the sneakers that we were looking for Movin’ Together. According to Nancy, “Unsupportive shoes not only cause foot pain, but they affect your entire body. Supportive shoes are key to your body’s alignment. Let us help you find the proper shoe with the right fit…it makes all the difference!”
We also talked about the benefits of stretching. Stretching increases the range of motion in your joints, enhances flexibility, improves coordination, and increases blood flow to muscles. Regular stretching also helps improve your posture by preventing your muscles from getting tight. Many experts believe that stretching may also reduce your risk of injury in sports.
There are three stretches that are good to do anytime—the calf stretch, the quarter squat, and the ankle stretch. While doing these stretches, remember to keep breathing. You can hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. It doesn’t take much time for such great benefits! (Watch the video and do them along with us!)
The calf stretch can be done against a wall. Stand a little away from the wall and lean on it with your forearms, with your head resting on your hands. Place your right foot in front of you, leg bent (but not with your knee over your toes), and left leg straight behind you. Slowly move hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of your left leg. Keep your left heel flat and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold the stretch from 15-30 seconds. Most importantly, do not bounce. Switch legs and repeat.
The quarter squat relaxes your hamstrings, stretches your calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your heels flat, and toes pointed straight ahead. Assume a bent-knee position (again, never knees over toes) and hold for 30 seconds. Don’t forget to keep breathing.
For the ankle stretch, you can hold onto a chair for balance if you need to. Lift your left foot and rotate your foot and ankle eight to ten times in a clockwise direction, then eight to ten times again counterclockwise. Repeat with your right foot.
Are you in a hurry when you are walking? I’m not talking about fast walking – I’m talking about in-a-hurry walking! Morgan and I both hurry from here to there! At college, Morgan rushes to class, putting her head down and getting there quickly! I find myself hurrying headfirst, too. But, when it comes to health, it’s better to slow down. Take a minute to stand up straight and walk heel-first, not headfirst. When you walk heel-first, it corrects your posture. When walking, you want your ear to be above your shoulder not in front of it! Good posture helps our bodies function better, too, especially our backs, keeping aches and pains to a minimum.
Next time on Movin’ Together we will be discussing healthy snacks to take on a bike trip! On this bike trip, we will have a special guest come along, and some of our family members are joining us too!
Sara has her certification in fitness training, and is known as a health coach to some, but her favorite titles are Wife, Mom, and Grandmom! Morgan is attending college at Slippery Rock and is majoring in communications. Julianna is enjoying her childhood.
Thank you, In My Shoes, for your help with today’s Movin’ Together feature. Nancy can help you find the best shoes for your sport, too, and she has shoes for the entire family. You can find her store online here, and here.
In our first two Movin’ Together programs our encouragement was to hydrate early in the morning and then follow that be eating breakfast! It sounds simple (and it is supposed to), but it takes determination to take the time to care for ourselves. Both hydration and breakfast give us energy and renewed strength.
If you would like to join in doing these simple habits you can watch the first two features for encouragement! Links for both!
Produced by Vogt Media