My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

One healthy change a month: stretching part 2

2013/02/25by Donna Hull

You’ll find Mayo Clinic’s video stretching series, Deskercise, at the Mayo Clinic Channel on YouTube.

Did you join our One Healthy Change a Month stretching challenge? How’s it going? As you know, my stretching routine is part of the therapy to recover from back surgery so I can’t skip a single day. Although, I’m following such a rigorous lower back stretching regime that I’m ignoring upper body stretches. I mean, how many hours a day can a boomer girl stretch?

Seriously, I hope you’re hanging in there. Remember, the reason we’re making one healthy change a month is so that we can travel comfortably and participate in active experiences for years to come.

Readers to the rescue: avoiding boredom

Yes, I think stretching is boring. But, thanks to your comments, I have several new tools to use:

The Blonde (Blonde Brunette Travel), Debbie Beardsley (European Travelistaand Suzi Rosenberg (Discover Northern Californiasuggest stretching while watching the news or other television shows.

“How about stretching while listening to the news or to some music?” asks Sheryl Kraft of My So-Called Midlife. “Or, put your day’s to-do list together in your head. Combine stretching with kegels (something we all forget to do). Or just think about nothing; do a mini-meditation.”

If you live in a high-rise condo, follow Suzanne Fluhr’s (Boomeresque) ideas, “Thank goodness we have a dog who has to be walked. I do some stretching waiting for our slow service elevator to get to the 16th floor. We’re supposed to use the service elevator with the dog.”

So which method did I choose to relieve my boredom while stretching? I’m plugging into Pandora radio on my smartphone and listening to Jake Shimabukuro and the smooth sounds of ukelele music.

If you listen to Pandora on your smartphone while stretching, make sure you are on a free wireless connection or have plenty of available data in your smartphone plan.

Readers to the rescue: new ways to stretch

I also learned a few new stretching tips.

Vera Marie Badertscher (A Traveler’s Library) shares a yoga stretch that she discovered to help our backs after sitting too long at a computer: ‘It’s simple. Just lie on the floor in front of a chair, with your legs up on the seat of the chair. Can you picture it? You’re making a stair-step of your body. (I put a small pillow under my head to relieve pressure on my neck. As for the “boring” part, I find that my brain needs a rest, too, so I just let my mind wander–semi-meditating.”

And Roxanne Hawn (Champion of My Heart) explains bathroom yoga: “Years ago, I developed a little routine I call bathroom yoga, where I incorporate various stretches while in the shower or while drying my hair, etc. I’m sure my yoga instructor would be mortified, but … you have to fit it in where you can.”

Heather Larson (Discover Washington State) says to watch your dog: “Dogs make a good example of stretching. It’s something they do every time they get up and if we followed suit, we’d be more flexible.”

And, finally Paula (a reader) offers great advice: “Might I suggest that 15 seconds into a 30 second static hold, release the stretch just a touch and then press it in a bit closer while you exhale. There is something about exhaling that helps relax your muscles so that you are not fighting against yourself.”

More stretching resources:

Arthritis Today has an excellent Pinterest board focused on stretching.

And this AM & PM Stretch DVD by Madeleine Lewis gets good reviews at Amazon.

So, if you’ve been stretching daily in February, keep it up. And let us know how you’re doing. Just joining us? There’s no better time to start than today. Did you know it takes about two weeks before seeing results from daily stretching?

Want to keep up with all of our healthy changes? Be sure to bookmark the One Healthy Change a Month page.

I have included an Amazon Links for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at

A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Vera Marie Badertscher
February 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I’m still not stretching as much as I should, but I am getting up and walking around and changing activities so that I don’t feel the need to do the “legs up on the chair” as much as I would if I were sitting too long.
Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..A Father and Son Bike Across JapanMy Profile


Christinegl February 26, 2013 at 7:19 am

Love the idea of one healthy change a month. That’s doable!


Jackie Smith
February 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

Our health club in Kirkland opened a new facility while we were in Hawaii, so we’ve had no excuse not to be exercising – new machines help to make those stretches less boring. Not doing it daily, but have definitely increased attention to that part of the workout. We are giving some thought to hiking the Samaria Gorge while in Crete this spring, so are also paying attention to those leg muscles.
Jackie Smith recently posted..Travel Tuesday: ‘Trusted Travelers’ Down UnderMy Profile


February 26, 2013 at 9:01 am

Thanks for the mention. I’m really trying to do 15-20 minutes of real yoga a few times a week … in addition to my cheater yoga in the bathroom.
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Debbie Beardsley
February 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

I have to admit I’ve been a failure with the stretching :( Why is this so difficult? I only need to take at most 15 minutes to stretch but just can’t seem to find the time. Love the idea of bathroom yoga but feel like I would fall in the shower which would create other problems!
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Alexandra February 27, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for this reminder. I always forget stretching. I will try to incorporate it into my busy life.
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Susan Cooper
February 28, 2013 at 8:53 am

This is something I need to start doing more. It’s not that hard it’s just remembering to do it. It does take a certain amount of discipline does it. :)
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Donna Hull
March 1, 2013 at 7:52 am

Stick with us, Susan. We’ll develop that discipline to stretch daily.
Donna Hull recently posted..Enjoy a Southern California spring road tripMy Profile


Irene S. Levine
March 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

When you’re at a desk all day, it is so important to stretch. Thanks for these tips!
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