PUMPING IRONY: A Real Stretch

Everyone who knows anything about fitness tells me that I need to do three things regularly to stay in shape: cardio, strength training and stretching.

I’ve been pretty religious about practicing the first two, but positively negligent about the third. So, I’ve been doing some research lately to learn more about how to work this stuff into my regular workouts.

It’s not easy. I’m just not very flexible.

To illustrate: If I bend over at the waist and keep my knees  unbent I can, with some discomfort (make that considerable discomfort), reach down to about the middle of my shins. My lower back and  hamstrings are about as flexible as a mortgage banker.

I can take some comfort knowing that most geezers my age don’t fold and unfold like a jackknife. Still, I’m committed to remaking my whole body, not just my lungs and familiar muscle groups. And that means getting more limber. To that end, my wife and I will begin attending a yoga class next week, and I’m vowing publicly to begin stretching a little every day — even at the gym!

I’ve armed myself with a few beginning stretches that I’ve actually done in the past, so it doesn’t seem too exotic or painful. I’m going to take their advice and spend about 20 minutes on the mat tonight and see what happens. We’ll see if I can do 20-20-20 minute split between cardio, stretching and lifting. Maybe someday I’ll be able to touch the tops of my shoes.

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