One healthy change a month: stretching part 2

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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.

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