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 www.SparkPeople.com/Walking.
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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