For the past year or so I’ve been diligently stretching most evenings. Typically, if my wife and I were to go to our basement to watch an episode of say, Narcos, I’d make sure to spend a brief 5-10 minutes moving through a number of stretches before getting too comfortable on the couch. A small additional win for the day. Not much more than that.
I’m not here to tout the benefits of stretching, because honestly, I’m still not sure if there are any. In fact, some folks would tell you stretching should be avoided all together, and may even hamper strength gains, as an example. Regardless, I find there are certain positions where I wish I had greater ranges of motion and flexibility, so I engage in light work towards this goal. I’m not trying to become Gumby here.
I also take a minute after getting warmed up in the shower to perform some light stretches, and even while brushing my teeth. Actually, as I write this, I realize I’m stretching quite a bit, maybe too much? The point I’m trying to make is, you can layer in these healthy (depending on who you ask) habits to your day, without any significant disruption. I can now easily work through a five minute routine at the start of a Netflix show with little effort. While I had to consciously force myself for a number of weeks in the beginning, now it takes little to no willpower. It’s a just a given. Head downstairs, fire up Netflix, get into position. Easy.
The same is true when taking a shower or brushing my teeth. I have specific stretches I work on that lend themselves better to one area or another (I’m not trying to work on the splits in the shower, for example).
These are just small windows of time throughout the day where I can layer on additional, positive activities. Stretching is just one example. The activity doesn’t take any additional time over and above what I was going to do anyway. This fact alone makes the act much more likely to happen on a frequent basis. Nice.