Credit: Jorge Quinteros

There are those of us who are naturally flexible.


And then there are those of us who are not.


I tend to fall in the later camp. And I like to complain about it. However, to be honest, I’ve never made a regular go of stretching. Probably because I’m not good at it and this phenomenon happens. But I know it’s good for me — it reduces risk of injury, increases range of motion, can reduce pain, and helps us stay strong and flexible, not to mention the fact that it’s a great opportunity to practice mindfulness.

I really, really should make it a regular practice.

Which is exactly why I am loving these tips from Charlee Atkins, CSCS and founder of Le Sweat, on how to not only improve stretching, but also how to make it a habit. Because we all know how powerful habits are!

Credit: Jorge Quinteros

5 Tips to Improve Your Stretching & Make It a Habit

1. Give yourself a “stretch of the week” per week. Pick two stretches — one upper body and one lower body — and do each one every day for a week. (To find stretches, see @charleeatkins.)

2. Set a goal. Each stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds, but try to work up to 2 minutes per stretch.

3. Break it up. Do 4 minutes in the morning for your upper-body stretch and 4 minutes at night for your lower-body stretch. The iPhone timer is perfect for this.

4. Do your stretches immediately following a workout. Don’t complicate stretching, pick a stretch for the main body parts and flow (this should only take 5-7 minutes):

5. Stretch while you wait. Stuck on hold on the phone or waiting for water to boil? Perfect time to stretch.

Want more from Charlee? Be sure to check out her online stretch class on the playbook app! —Jenn

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