Video: 5 Stretches Every Walker Should Do

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Raise your hand if you walk for fitness! (My hand is up, too.) Now raise your hand if you always stretch after heading outdoors for a walk. (My hand is up…halfway. I admit that sometimes I skip it.) We all know that stretching is important and that we should do it each time we work out. But sometimes a beautiful spring day lures you outside and to save time, you skimp on stretching, figuring that it doesn't matter. Or maybe you know you should stretch but you're just not sure what to do. Perhaps you fall into another category: You want to stretch but don't want to sit on the ground or interrupt your outdoor walk. No matter what category you fall into, it's time for a change.

Spring is the season for walking, whether you're training for a local 5K walk or just enjoying the outdoors. That's why I recently appeared on Cincinnati's FOX 19 morning show to give some tips to spring walkers, including 5 stretches walkers can do while they're outdoors. What's so great about these stretches is that you can do them on the sidewalk while standing—you don't need anything special and you won't lose the momentum of your workout or look weird to passersby to popping a squat on the dirty sidewalk (ew!). Check out the video for yourself (and hear about my brush with celebrity in the green room at the station!)

If you have trouble viewing the video below, you can click here to see it on the FOX 19 website.

Morning news segments are challenging because they're so short. If I had a little more time, I would have given more directions, like to make sure your muscles are warm before you stretch and to hold each stretch for at least 15-30 seconds. You can do the upper body stretches (dynamic shoulder circles and chest stretch) while you walk, too, so that you don't lose any momentum. The great thing about these 5 stretches is that they're easy to do outside and they target all the main muscles you need to stretch if you walk. To see more great tips, stretches, and tools for walkers, go to

OK I know what you're thinking. What's the brush with celebrity she mentioned in the beginning. Here it is.

When I walked into the green room, there were a couple of men there waiting, too. There's nothing unusual about that because all morning show guests share that green room and wait for their scheduled time. I was chatting and joking with these guys, who told me there were from a local comedy club and were going to go on and promote the club. I didn't really think much of it. But after about 15 minutes I noticed that one guy looked pretty familiar (but he was wearing sunglasses that whole time). Come to find out, it was Jim Breuer, a "Saturday Night Live" alum (most recognized for his sketches on SNL as "goat boy" if that helps ring a bell). He was there to promote his comedy show that weekend at a local club. (Check out the video of his appearance here.) We waited together for about 30 minutes; he asked me if I was a professional walker. (I can't believe he doesn't know who "Coach Nicole" is. Haha—I kid!) Talk about a fun "Woo Hoo" moment that wouldn't have been possible without SparkPeople!

But we're talking about walking here, so are you more likely to stretch now that you're armed with some quick and easy stretches? And just for fun: What celeb would you like to Spread the Spark to?

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DBEAU57 8/19/2018
If you're going to put up an article that has a video showing the stretches, it needs to be a current article - not one from 2009! Report
I couldn't get either link to work :-( Report
DIXIE-LUSH 3/11/2018
Link does not work. Take this article down SP!! Report
DIXIE-LUSH 3/11/2018
Link do Report
MSUEQUILTS 2/13/2018
couldn't access this! Report
I have been walking for years and now want to run and sure would like to see the stretches BUT I cannot get the link , it is unavailable. Help anyone? Someone? Report
I could not get either link to open up so I could view the stretches. I really wanted to see them too! Is it possible or in the future plans for Coach Nicole to make a dvd workout that is nothing but stretches for various body areas? I and my mom are very interested in this idea. I would like to mix up my stretching routine but am clueless to the varieties out there. Report
I walk all year around at work in all weather, so am not ever starting up on unseasoned muscles, as long as my shoes are okay for the weather conditions I am good to go.. One area of exercise I never felt the need for stretches.. Report
I just started walking for fitness since my hubby plays basketball at the park so I walk the trails. I didn't know what stretches to do, so I just figured it didn't matter since I don't really seem to get sore from walking. The video was unavailable but I will try to find it on fox maybe? anyone else know where to find the video-I'm a visual person. Report
The video was not available. I am guilty of not stretching wehn I walk. It is usually a struggle just to get myself going. Holpefully, this will imporove as I improve. Report
I could not see the video, but reading the comments make me what to look in to this stretches. I have a lot of questions on how to stretch. Report
The video is no longer available. Could you actually name the stretches and link to their Spark Fitness demos? I used to stretch about five minutes into my walk after my muscles have warmed and afterwards. I've been skipping the beginning stretch and not noticed any difference. Report
I know better but most often skip the stretch after my walks. Now I know I have to do them. Who knows they may even help me with some of yoga poses that I am unable to do because my muscles are so tight. Report
Hi, i cant view the stretches on fox but i have had a look at some of them on the stretching demos on sp, and they are great. I do about 5 to 10 mins stretching before and after my walk/run and this does help! Report
Thanks my D.H. has told me that i need to do it now i will thanks Report
we do these stretches in a cardio class im in, i've never thought to use them for walking. I take long, past paced walks regularly.. i think it would help sometimes. definitely need to try to make it a habit, at this point, i always just forget to stretch before, but i often stretch afterwards because that's when im feeling it most. Report
I walk everyday. Once in the morning and once at night for a total of four miles. And, I never stretch before or after my walks. Quite frequently, I am sore. I will begin stretching every day.
Thanks SparkPeople! Report
All my days i have not found the benefits of stretching until now. I just recently started sparkp, and have taken a huge interest in Coach Nicoles videos and decided to read her blogs. I just posted a blog 3 days ago about what are the benefits of stretching because i never knew and never seen results, but now i will make sure i stretch everyday even if I dont have time for strength training or cardio. Report
Nicole looked great in this interview! If I don't stretch after a workout, I am much more stiff and sore. A few minutes really is a good investment. Report
okay , i haven't stretched , but will start now , thanks for the information. Report
Love this one! Report
Jack LaLanne, the Godfather of Fitness, who is 94, never stretches. He says a Lion doesn't take time to stretch before he takes off after an Antelope, so that is why he doesn't. Report
I, too, will start stetching Report
I admit I don't stretch either. But after reading this, I am going to start! Report
I will confess **red face** I don't stretch -- don't really want to stop to do it, but Coach Nicole, after seeing your demo, I think I'll give it a go (I'm glad I don't have to lay down in the street!). Maybe my knees and ankles will thank me with a little less pain.

Thank you, Nicole for your caring consistency. Report
The hardest part of stretching for me is actually doing it for 20-30 seconds!! It cracks me up, but it's true!!

My celebrity to spread the spark to...gosh I don't even know. Maybe Britney Spears because she seems to need some positive balance and good nutrition information in her life. Am I just lame for saying that? Report
I really don't want to admit this, but I never thought about the fact that you should stretch before walking. If I'm at rehab I've already stretched before I do the treadmill. But since I can't walk outside, I just recently started a walk at home program and I really didn't think about stretching, so thanks for the help, because I will from now on. The celeb I'd like to Spread the Spark to is Wynona Judd - because I really love her and I know the struggles that she has had in the past and I truly believe that SparkPeople could be a big encouragement to her.
Thanks for the info. I love all your stuff! I play volleyball and walk for exercise, but am guilty of not stretching. Like Rob Williams though, I feel it's importance more as I get older. Yesterday I was showing some exercises to my 12 year old daughter, and did a lying leg abduction. I have more flexibility in my hips since I started Spark People--but nothing like when I was 12!. My daughter was amazed and, I think, learned the importance of staying flexible. I am encouraged that she wants to learn more stretches and exercise everyday. As for the celebrity I would like to spread the spark to ? I'm not sure, maybe Drew Carey. I think he would make me laugh and enjoy the ride! Report
How fun to see you actually move and talk! You look fabulous - thanks for all the tips. Report
Thanks Coach Nicole on the tips. I really needed them. If I ever have to move from here I can have a backup on walking in place. As for a celebrity, years ago I went on a date with Bill Medley. Right now he plays in Branson which isn't far from my home. i'd love to lose my weight and go meet him again and show him what he can do. He already looks fairly good in shape so I might not have to impress him with spark people. Report
After I realized that you were right when I first came to Sparks and that stretching would decrease soreness and stop the pain after workouts , I needed no further reminder! Soreness I can handle, pain I hate and I haven't had any more since I do my stretches. That way I don't dread exercises anymore and I can still function and move the next day!

Thanks! Report
Great job Nicole!!! Report
If there's one thing I learned from my cats, it's the importance of stretching! Report
Thanks for the reminder - I'll get that little red string tied to my finger for tomorrows run! Report
I learned years ago to always stretch before and after walking or any type of exercise, so a 5-10 minute warm-up and the same timeframe cool-down allows the body to refrain from cramping, shin splits, and loosens the muscles & fascia. Good luck everyone! Report
I used to hate to stretch...thought it was a big time waster. And then I started having trouble with my hips, knees, and back.

I stumbled across SP because I was looking for stretching exercises to help those areas and was immediately sparked. Now that I've been stretching for 31 days (at least once a day to start my day and then always before I work out and especially after), I can tell a distinct improvement in my body's ability to get up to the next level in cardio and strength training. Before I wouldn't progress beyond a certain level of intensity or range of movement.

So now, I'm officially a stretcher.

I'd love to spark Mia Tyler. Report
Thanks for the much needed reminder - and WOOHOO for Bruer!!! I Love Jim and have seen him many many times. Report
Thanks for posting this article. I'm guilty of never stretching before walking but after reading the article and watching the video I will make sure I do some stretches before each walk. Report
Thanks , I needed that article. Report
Thanks, I really need to remember to stretch before walking! You look fantastic! Report
Any chance you guys could NOT use flash? It won't load on my PC so now I can't view the videos. The FOX news website also uses flash & I can't see that either :( Can I find these stretches somewhere else? Report
I usually warm up and stretch for 15 minutes *before* I leave the house. My warm up incorporates some of the "indoor" moves Nicole demonstrated--hamstring curls and marching, along with squats, jacks, jump rope, etc. After that I follow with static lunges and stretches. Then, when I finish my workout, I repeat the stretching segment (about five minutes or so) for my cool down.

I've skipped my little intensive stretching routine maybe once, and I can assure you it'll never happen again. The next day(s) my legs felt like they'd been worked out for the first time. These are great if you really are short on time--it's certainly better than nothing--but I can vouch for taking some time indoors to really attend to all the significant areas with your warm up and cool down. Report
Wow I'm new to sparkpeople. I didn't know how big it was. I am shocked it's actually advertised on TV in America. My golly I have stumbled across a fantastic website Report
I always enjoy watching/doing your stretching videos. I'm not too embarassed,though to "pop down" and do an inner thigh stretch. I figure I'm limber and if people don't like it they don't have to look! :)
Great interview, Nichole! Seems we always think of things we didn't say and wish we had! You did GREAT!
And to rub elbows! WOO HOO! I know you're thrilled about that! Report
I found that by stretching I was able to get more mobility in my knees and able to walk further. Report
I love the reminder to stretch because I am one who does and forgets sometimes. Celeb Id like to spread the spark to is Kristy Alley. She gets so much criticism for yo-yoing and has done terrible after her Jenny Craig diet. This is typical because after you loose weight on these kinds of programs, the program goes away and old habits come back. Cant do that with SP because this site is always there after you have reached your goals and will help you mainitain. Lifelong habits are good. Report
Thanks for the stretches Nicole! You look fabulous! Report
wow thank you now i wont feel so silly. Report
Woo-hoo! 5 stretches I can actually do! I like THIS! Report