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January 2017 Stretching for strength!

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stretch for strengthAs the mists begin to clear from the Christmas and New Year haze, prepare yourself for what 2017 has in store to throw at your body. Being prepared doesn’t stop the aches and pains attempting to pop their unwelcome heads along the horizon, but what it can do is reduce the likelihood of them happening, make the effects less troublesome and your recovery less arduous.

So stock up with New Year power cells and direct them to the areas you know to be somewhat depleted. If all your power cells feel low on charge, there are a few nudges here to lead you in the right direction.


Hold your horses eager readers!

If these stretches seem familiar to look at, it doesn’t follow that you benefit from them by looking at them. I maybe preaching to the converted but in case I’m not, regardless of how ‘in touch’ you are with what you know you need to do to look after yourself, the only way you can look after yourself is to, wait for it; look after yourself. As the saying goes, the harder you work the luckier you become. So New Year readers, charge the power cells and revel in the benefits.

These particular examples were picked because they work the whole of your body; muscles, joints, pelvic floor, lungs as well as your balance. At first glance they may appear innocuous but in reality they pack a mighty punch of hope to your power cells.


Whole body stretching for strength

Place one foot further back behind you and lean forwards onto your front leg.

Draw up your pelvic floor muscles and raise your arms upwards placing your palms together.

Lengthen the back of your head away from your tailbone, drop your shoulders and breathe.

Repeat having changed your leg position.



Straighten spine and strengthen body

Straddle your legs apart and raise your arms to the side.

Bend one knee and look along the arm raised over this knee. Gently turn your hips away from the bent knee. Lengthen the back of your head away from your tailbone, drop your shoulders and breathe.

Repeat having changed your leg position.



Squatting Exercise for strengthSlowly squat over a chair to the point where your knees continue to feel comfortable but the fronts of your thighs are working.

Lengthen the back of your head away from your tailbone, drop your shoulders and breathe.

Repeat as many times as your legs can tolerate. Increase the challenge: stay low for all repetitions!


The benefits…

As you stretch and lengthen your spine and breathe, so your body begins to reconnect with itself. This reconnection generates a greater sense of strength, control and confidence……..I have just got up and done all these exercises and it took me 1 minute and 52.65 seconds to complete. I actually thought it would take longer so was surprised when I stopped the clock.

More marvellous than that, is just how light and energised and alive I feel. I can’t think of many other things that can give that result in 1 minute 52.56 seconds (answers on a postcard please if you can think of any) so up you get, grab the next 112.65 seconds of your life and make them count.


If only it were that easy

maintaining an exercise regime

The most typical reasons people have for losing enthusiasm with doing what they know to be good for them, include: “not enough time; keep forgetting; I can’t do everything, it feels too much; can’t be bothered; not sure exactly how or when or why to do what should be done”.

If any or all of these ring true,




To be frank I feel all these things at times, extraordinary as that might sound, but I do. I get it. However, writing this blog amongst other things, forces me to focus my mind on the bigger picture.

The bigger picture:

Incorporate exercises into activities you are already doing that lend themselves to certain stretches. This might be when you are standing in the shower, lounging in the bath, sitting on the loo. I think I can safely say that most of you do most of these things from time to time, n‘est-ce pas?

Associate certain exercises with activities your regularly do. As you sit for a meal, stand in a queue, work at your computer, send a text you could AT LEAST straighten up, squeeze your pelvic floor, breathe in deeply. As you squat into a cupboard or place something on a low shelf you could squat as far as your knees can tolerate, instead of slumping over and straining your back.

Pick a small number of exercises that are realistic for you and work on those for a while. Then ring the changes and pick another set.

As for doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, again keep in mind how your body feels as you attempt any new exercise. Reference my previous blogs and as always you can contact me for more information.

I hope these words help clear a path through the mist but remember, I’m always here and happy to help.

| 6 comments | in Maintain a healthy lifestyle, Stretch for strength

6 Responses to January 2017 Stretching for strength!

  1. Sally Mitchell says:

    I love that I can hear your voice while I’m reading this hundreds of miles away xx

    • Rachel Kili says:

      Hi Sally, what a lovely thing to say, thank you. I hope that all is well and the blogs are keeping you on your toes!

      Rachel x

  2. Helen says:

    Another brilliant blog. Many thanks and Happy New Year!

  3. Sylvia Greenfield says:

    You’re a STAR Rachel!!
    I’m really looking forward to the Feb/Mar sessions

    • Rachel Kili says:

      Hello Sylvi, thank you for your kind words! It’s so good to hear you find my blogs helpful. Looking forward to seeing you at Simply Move! in February.


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