Last Sunday was one of those perfect days: The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot; few little white clouds in the sky; and just the hint of a cool breeze.
My youngest son was off to a 5 year old birthday party with my wife, so I asked my 8 year old what he wanted to do for the day. He said… Bike ride in the park, Dad. I thought… Top idea!
I threw his bike in the car, and decided to take his scooter instead of my mountain bike, just for something different.
We got to the local park, which has great bike paths and off we went. We rode and scooted for about an hour, and finished up at a busy little cafe back where we parked the car.
Anyway, when we got back home I noticed that my hips were a little tight. No big deal; just a little stiff. So I sat on the floor for about 15 minutes and did a few easy hip stretches. All fixed; loose and limber again.
But it reminded me of the importance of including variety in your workouts. Mixing it up. Doing exercises and stretches that you haven’t done before.
Variety in your exercise program is one of the most important factors for preventing injury. If you don’t include variety, 2 things can happen…
Firstly, you’ll develop strength and flexibility imbalances, which put uneven stresses on your muscles and joints, and can lead to injury.
Secondly, every time you’re forced to do something that you’re not used to doing, you’re making your body use its muscles in a way it never has, which puts you at risk of injury.
This is why I include over 130 different stretches in the Stretching Handbook. I know if you do the same old stretches day in day out, you’ll create imbalances that can lead to injury.
So get out there and mix it up a little. Do something you haven’t done before: Take a dance class; do some Pilates; try some circuit training; do a few stretches you’ve never done before; maybe even take a ride on a scooter.
Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach