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Stretching for strength and flexibility

by Deborah Duncan
(Toronto, Canada)

I have been a workout addict for most of my life and loved that I could see results through hard work. With cardio, I kept my body lean. With strength training, muscle definition kept me "jiggle free".

Even though I had read about the benefits of stretching, I never seemed to make the time to fit it in. As a result, over the years, I noticed that my flexibility and range of motion started to decrease noticeably.

This got to the point where I even had trouble lifting my knees forward, because of tightness in my knee and hip joints. After adding yoga and basic stretching to my program (about 8 years ago), I can now attest to the benefits of stretching. My range of motion has greatly increased, no more tightness or achiness in my joints, and my body definition has shifted from a slight "stockiness" to longer, leaner muscle definition.

And another benefit - my chronic back aches have all but disappeared! Stretching and yoga have now become a priority for me, even over cardio (which I love)!

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