Wellness doesn’t need to be big
Most folks live in a world that’s fast-paced and ever-demanding, asking more and more of you each day. The moments you have to yourself where nothing is asked or needed are few and precious. Because of the world we live in it feels like spending any aliquot of your day doing wellness-related things is a big ask. But the thing is, wellness doesn’t need to be big, wellness is often achieved through many small changes adding up over time.
The simplest way to get started on your wellness journey is to start small and think big. Break your time into smaller manageable chunks and slowly build, something like two-week increments of planning. You can start by stretching your hamstrings—arguably the most important muscle group in alleviating muscle tension and reducing pain in day-to-day life. Stretching your hamstrings reduces back strain, sciatica, and risk of injury from falling1.
Hamstring flexibility is important for building a practice of exercise and it’s a great place to start because it improves your movement efficiency, agility, and speed2. In addition to reducing pain and priming you for exercise, stretching your hamstrings improves blood flow, releases endorphins, and also activates your tendons and ligaments, keeping them from hardening over time and losing their range of motion. It’s also been shown to lessen risk of knee and back injury3.
So let’s say you start your first two-week session by stretching your hamstrings in the morning, what comes next? Maybe drinking an extra cup of water each day or adding more greens. Your next two-week period you’ll stretch your hamstrings and drink more water. Then the next two-week period you’ll add another thing for your benefit, slowly ramping up your commitment until a routine is established. It doesn’t take much to start, just 30 seconds a day to stretch each hamstring and building from there. Investing in yourself and your health can seem daunting but it’s got the most rewarding dividends possible—a better life. I’m telling you—the road to a better life is only a hamstring stretch away.
Written by Jeremiah Ockunzzi, courtesy of Bart Rademaker, MD.