GET FIT AND BE FLEXIBLE: Tips on Self Care, Stretching and Therabands
We are all golden retrievers at heart. We will perform but we will be more enthusiastic if there’s a reward, right?
An integral part of committing to a fitness plan is being flexible (and hopefully becoming physically more flexible as time progresses). There will be roadblocks, inconvenience and disrupted routines. Instead of feeling defeated, keep in mind that there’s another brand new full day ahead of you. If your plan to work-out before lunch is dampened by rain or an unexpected visitor or a last-minute rescheduled appointment, can you modify your plan?
Feel-Good Fitness Bites
Can you still squeeze in a 30-minute ride on a stationary bike if it’s already dark out? Have you tried one of the Nike Training Club Feel-Good Fitness episodes on Netflix? The 7 to 20 minute high-energy workouts led by expert Nike trainers deliver everything from dumbbell routines to improve mobility to Vinyasa flow classes focussing on the hips.
Is your mind in desperate need of a stretch instead? Sometimes shifting focus to meditation can be just the “exercise” you need. If finding time in your day to fit in exercise seems impossible, consider your commutes. Can you walk or ride to wherever you need to go?
Being flexible also involves focussing on proper recovery. Jumping into any new fitness routine can leave you with stiff muscles, blisters and diminished enthusiasm to do it all over again. This is where the golden retriever comes bounding in. Rewards can come in any form—a well-deserved day off from running, dark chocolate, a hot bath or a massage.
Soak it Up
As a former massage therapist, I kept my client’s homework simple. Take a bath! Carve out that time for you and if you can add some Epsom salts and drops of a calming essential oil to the mix, better yet! Hydrotherapy (water-based treatments) have a big impact on circulation which helps your body decrease lactic acid accumulation (the culprit behind muscle pain and stiffness).
By booking regular massage or chiropractic treatments, your fitness plan will feel more balanced. Anticipation is everything! Knowing you have a full body massage after a week of pushing yourself, adjusting to a new weight-lifting or core strengthening routine will elevate your mood and drive.
Stretch Your Mind and Hamstrings
If you’ve pushed yourself too far, you might have to take a step back and rest. You can still continue your fitness journey by improving your mental well-being. Mindfulness apps like Headspace focus on restoring your sleep patterns and clarity of mind. Listen to some juicy podcasts–you can eavesdrop on everything from on goal-digging, modern spirituality, hormones, anxiety and manifestation. And there’s always Brene Brown for a courage pep talk!
Being flexible also means exactly that. Stretching routines, yoga and self-care rituals are essential to wellness. I have often mocked my sister (an Active Living + Health Promotion consultant) for her traveling circus show. Whether it’s a weekend skiing in Golden, BC or a dive trip to Hawaii, she has a tickle trunk of foam rollers, spiky trigger point massage balls and Therabands (resistance bands) of different tensions. The latex resistance Therabands allow her to workout anywhere, anytime.
Keeping Trip Fit with Therabands
Wild Women Expeditions offers trips of varying activity levels. Some of them involve long drives (and longer flights) between destinations. Having a degree of flexibility is important for active Wild Women who are accustomed to a daily running routine. If you’re on the Tanzania Trek + Safari or India Jungles and Jewels Adventure, lions and tigers eliminate the option of running (or walking). Often the jam-packed days of a WWE trip don’t allow for a window to exercise and that’s where Therabands can be handy to sneak in some repetitions and core work in your hotel room before dinner or your first cup of coffee in the morning.
If you are someone who likes to be on the move and have a good sweat, having the option of a Theraband (resistance band) routine in your backpocket takes the stress out of wondering where and when and how you can fit fitness in. This video is a great introduction for beginners (and seniors)–and you can take this easy and effective 20-minute workout to India, Morocco, Egypt and Tanzania. All you need is a chair and a Theraband for this portable gym! There are several online Theraband videos that target different muscle groups, skill levels and needs to keep you invigorated wherever you are in the world.
Next up in our Get Fit series will be Part 3: Walk the Walk. We’ll take a look at special considerations when training for the Camino pilgrimage, Inca Trek, Salkantay, Switzerland, the W Trek (Patagonia) and Everest. We have a virtual personal trainer and adventure coach to introduce you to! There will also be some gear talk, tips for adjusting to pack weight, increasing mileage and terrain considerations.
Did you know that Wild Women Expeditions has an exclusive Spotify soundtrack? As you treat your body to a solid tune-up, we’ve got the tunes covered! Check out this International Women’s Day 2023 compilation curated by Caroline, our Community Engagement Manager with suggestions from our Wild Women!