My Biggest Fitness Regret

Yesterday morning, I woke up knowing that I needed to sweat. My tattoo appeared to be completely healed, so I decided to get some cardio in. I headed to the gym and completed 35 minutes of elliptical intervals and a 1 mile run on the treadmill. By the time I was done, I was drenched in sweat! It felt fantastic to get my heart rate up again. I’m glad to be back at it!

My Biggest Fitness Regret

Looking back over my fitness journey, I don’t have many regrets. Yes, there have been times when I exercised way to hard, or not hard enough, but I simply look at those as learning experiences. I’m constantly falling in and out of love with running, and that relationship has driven me to run plenty of races, including two half marathons. I’ve watched my muscles grow and shrink over the years, depending on the type of exercise I’m into at the time. I’m okay with all of that. I like variety in my workouts, and I realize that with that variety will likely come changes in my body.

I only have one regret in terms of fitness: stretching. It seems so simple, and it seems like something that shouldn’t really matter. At least, that’s what I always thought. Throughout my high school volleyball career, I only stretched before practice because that’s just what we did as a team. Even then, I wasn’t flexible at all. I’ve never been able to touch my toes, and I always struggled.

standing forward bend

{I danced from the time I was 2 years old until I was 9. Looking back, even then I was never very flexible. There were a lot of things my friends could do that I couldn’t do quite as well, just due to flexibility. I owe it to not stretching!}

After finishing volleyball, I began working out independently. Stretching completely went out the window. I didn’t care about it at.all. To show you just how bad it was, I rarely stretched during my half marathon training. That means that I would come home after a 10 mile run, jump right in the shower, and head right out the door. I regret that so deeply now. As I am trying to get better at yoga, I am realizing how bad the problem really is. Something as simply as downward dog causes me a ridiculous amount of pain, simply because my hamstrings are so inflexible. The same goes for standing forward bend. There have been many times in yoga that I have been almost brought to tears because a simple stretch hurts so badly.

003

This flexibility problem is part of the reason I decided to get into yoga (it’s actually the biggest reason). It’s stretching, but it’s stretching with a purpose. I can work toward being able to hold different poses, touch my toes, etc.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, stretching is important. It’s a way to help release tension in your muscles after a workout. I encourage you to work on stretching after a workout, even if it isn’t something that you enjoy doing. You’ll enjoy it a lot less when you’re trying to make your muscles work to do stretches that your friends don’t give a second thought to!

Do you like stretching?

Do you have a stretching routine?

What’s YOUR biggest fitness regret?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “My Biggest Fitness Regret

  1. I’m really bad at stretching too! When I’m doing a lot of running I try to do an online stretching class every Sunday to make sure I at least get in one stretch a week.

  2. Great post and it is great that you figured that out at such a young age. I had a old injury that I got from running several years ago, and towards the end of last year I finally had to do something about it. I started going to a chiropractor and he suggested stretching routines for me to do first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. It took a little bit before I truly made a commitment to doing them, but over the last couple of months I have come a long, long ways. I still have areas to improve on, but I know that if I keep at it I will improve. I would like to get into yoga and learn it from the basic level, but I cannot find a cheap option.

    Yes, I have become a fan of stretching, and see above for the answer to question number two.

    My biggest fitness regret is after training for a 5K that I ran in early 2009 I took about a month off. When I did start running again I did too much too soon, which caused the injury I mentioned earlier. My second would be several months ago I went for a run and again instead of taking it nice and slow. I over did it and caused my left foot to be tight, which is still on going. I guess in the past all of those things would have made me mad, but it is part of the journey.

    • Agreed, it can be frustrating but at least we can learn from our mistakes! It’s good that you’ve taken initiative and started stretching more.

      If you’re looking for a cheap way to do yoga, I HIGHLY recommend the Yoga Studio App (if you have a smartphone). It’s only a couple of bucks, and it has beginner, intermediate, and advanced options ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. You can also choose from relaxation, strength, flexibility, or combination. It has helped me SO much! It’s definitely something to look into if you’re interested.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s