While you probably are well aware that we are veggie loving twin sisters who are registered dietitians and personal trainers with quite the sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check, you may not realize that we’re also girls who thrive on endorphin rush of a good workout and rely on it daily to energize us and to keep us happy. We’ve played sports ever since we were knee-high to a cockroach, as our Dad used to lovingly describe us 🙂 but it wasn’t until we were in college that we really began to realize how important stretching is when it comes to health, fitness & physical well-being. After a handful of injuries, we try to take every opportunity to stretch! So when our fab friend and highly-respected colleague, Jessica Matthews wrote this awesome book Stretching to Stay Young, we knew we had to share it with you! And let us tell you, we’ve been following Jessica’s stretching guidelines, tips and routines, and this book is a game changer! And Jessica, is incredibly generous in offering a book giveaway!
Below, Jessica gives more details about the book and philosophy:
My intention in writing this book was to create a simple, easy-to-follow guide to flexibility training that was rooted in science, yet made practical so it could easily be put into practice. To me the idea of “staying young” has nothing to do with age or appearance. Rather, staying young refers to the feeling of liberation in your mind and in your body— it’s the ability to move with ease and to enjoy and appreciate the experience.
Flexibility, as one of the five health-related components of fitness, plays a vital role in creating this sense of liberation in the physical body, yet sadly it is one of the most overlooked aspects of physical fitness. My hope is that this book will serve as a guide to help people, no matter what their fitness experience or ability level, to navigate what can often be the muddy waters of stretching, filled with misinformation that can confuse even the fitness professionals (and for my fellow health and fitness pros, I hope this book will serve as a great reference for their students and clients for use outside of the time they spend training together).
The book is divided up into three sections for easy reading and also logical progression. Part I focuses on the science of stretching— how it works, why it works, and what the research says, all written in a way that you don’t need a Ph.D. to understand. This section also addresses common myths and misconceptions about stretching and provides practical tips and strategies for structuring your flexibility training routine using several different approaches to stretching and improving mobility.
Part II provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to perform dozens of different static stretches, dynamic stretches for the entire body (including yoga-inspired moves because what else would people expect from me), and also some self-myofascial release exercises using a foam roller. For each stretch or movement, options are provided for how to tailor the move to make it more accessible or to add more sensation, depending on what serves you best on that particular day, as well as general tips to get the most out of the stretch.
Finally, Part III provides complete workouts using the various stretches featured in Part II of the book. From everyday activities like working at a desk or watching TV, to leisure activities like running and hiking, each time-efficient routine is designed to be completed in about 10 minutes.
Leave a comment below telling us your favorite stretch and you’ll be entered in the raffle to win a copy of Stretching to Stay Young!