At this point, I can tell you what the doctor will say about every muscle twinge and stiff joint - stretch! Stretch? Stretching is for sissies! Stretching is boring! Stretching is...necessary. Sadly, it's not just a quick touch your toes and swing your arms side to side. I have four different stretches for every over-used, worn out body part. It takes me 20 minutes to stretch "properly." I'm the kind of person who complains about the extra five minutes it takes to blow-dry my hair. Twenty minutes of stretching? Torture!!!
And speaking of torture, take a look at my stretching aids.
The green foam roller is absolutely necessary for my hips, IT bands (side of my thighs), and calves. When things get tight - because I haven't stretched enough - I sit on top of my foam roller and work that thing like a rolling pin beneath me.
The nubby roller is advertised as a way to break up fatty tissue, but I've found it's very useful in getting to deep tissue. Does it hurt? Oh, my, yes. And upon first use, I bruised. Does it work? Sadly, yes.
It's not shown here, but I use a tennis ball to roll over the soft tissue around my "tennis elbow" to loosen that up (this is called irony, kids).
I was raised in a time of going for the burn and work your body until it hurts for days. But let me tell you, I'm not a fan of the burn or hurting anymore. I also gave up 5K runs and have fled screaming when people ask me to come do mudders (plus I don't like to get dirty). It's time to age smart.
Are you slowing down? Are there physical things you don't do anymore? I'd love to hear your aging stories.
Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin, sweet romantic comedies and sexy sports contemporaries. Her latest releases are Support Your Local Sheriff (a full-length Harlequin, $4.99), Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls (a full-length sweet romantic comedy, $2.99), A Heartwarming Thanksgiving (a collection of 13 turkey-day related romance novellas by Harlequin Heartwarming authors - a steal at 99 cents), and Heartwarming Holiday Wishes (a collection of 10 Christmas romance novellas - a steal at 99 cents - includes a $1 off coupon for a Heartwarming purchase at Harlequin.com).