Welcome to the first day of our 30-day step and stretch challenge! I’m so excited to get started, and to step and stretch our way to reaching new fitness goals. This 30-day challenge is pretty simple, but will have a huge impact on your flexibility and daily activity.
Step it out…
Pick a step goal that is a bit of a stretch (no pun intended lol), but not unobtainable. For example, I’ve been walking about 8k steps on average each day, but I want to get to the 10k step mark. This goal is obtainable, but will require that I get a little creative with my day and activity levels.
Pick your step goal and write in on your tracker. At the end of each day simply write down how many steps you got for the day. (If you don’t have a step counter on your phone or a pedometer, I suggest getting a simple one like this on Amazon). We will also provide creative ideas to increase your daily step count in the private Facebook group.
Stretch it out…
I’ve included my favorite sequence as the core of the stretching challenge. In addition to the sequence below, we’re going to start with some very basic and light stretches for the arms and neck. Do what feels good, and check this post out for some simple ideas. We’ll start on the sequence below on day 3 as we gradually increase stretching.
The key to success with stretching and gaining flexibility is consistency. Flexibility will not come if you only stretch one time per month. It really needs to be done on a daily basis. This is why we start small and work up up to the full sequence below. This will give you plenty of time to adjusting to making stretching a daily priority. Once you see how good 2 min feels, it’s easy to work your way up to 10-15 minutes to get through this sequence.
Each day you’ll be given a prompt in the private Facebook group for which stretches to do. If you’re more advanced go ahead and add on faster and incorporate advanced stretching techniques as we talk about them.
See how far you’ve come
It’s also a good idea to start with a benchmark flexibility measure so you can see how you improve over the month. To do this have a friend take a picture of you doing a seated forward fold like the picture below (it may feel a bit reminiscent of those flexibility tests you took way back when in elementary school).
When taking the picture try not to strain yourself of push further than you normally would go. If you can’t bend very far that’s ok! The point of this challenge is to increase flexibility from whatever your starting point is. Plus, this picture is for your reference only. If you don’t want to share it then you don’t have to. At the end of the challenge you’ll take another picture in the same position to see how much you have improved.
If you are already advanced in your stretching then I suggest choosing a pose that is challenging for you right now. At the end of the 30 days revisit that pose to see how far you’ve come!
Stretching tips & tricks!
- Track your progress – check off that you’ve done the prompted stretches for the day.
- Take before and after pics of your favorite stretches for reference.
- Always warm up before you stretch! We don’t want any pulled muscles! Try running in place, jumping jacks, or burpees for five minutes before you stretch.
- Hold each stretch for 20 seconds.
- Start slow and don’t push yourself. If a stretch doesn’t feel right then stop. Like I said before, we don’t want any pulled muscles!
- Breathe through the stretch, and slowly ease into each stretch. I promise some deep breathing will help you get through the more difficult stretches!
Stretching Sequence Guide
Don’t be scared away by the title! If you’re end goal isn’t the splits that’s ok! This sequence is great for opening up tight hips, as a cool down stretch after running or working out, or for all over increased flexibility.
Take your benchmarks, set your goals and start stepping and stretching, and tracking your progress!
We’ll talk about the benefits of stretching and how to stretch with assistance. I’m so excited to get started! Oh, and if you haven’t downloaded the tracker, be sure to join the community and we’ll send you a link to download it along with the stretching sequence!
If you want more awesome info like this…
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Caitlin's mission, after experiencing a personal struggle with maintaining fitness while traveling, is to help others stay healthy and fit on the road. She uses her experience as a group fitness instructor, love of fitness and nutrition, knowledge of traveling, and resourcefulness to keep travelers around the world feeling great, looking great, and having a fantastic time while traveling.