Ahhh.....August is here. The days are long and the weather is beautiful! But I can't help feeling like our summer fun is about to come screeching to a halt. School is starting next week and we are about to jump back on the hamster wheel, balancing work and school, drop offs and pick ups, practices and homework assignments. Phew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it! Before we rush out to get school supplies and check in for high school (SERIOUSLY!?), I'd like to pause and reflect on our wonderful summer and take a moment to stretch.  
My Favorite Stretch.....
Do me a favor. Just for 10 seconds, stop what you're doing right now and stretch your arms up over your head, clasping your hands together and reaching your palms toward the sky. Take a deep inhale, reach up, and exhale and let your arms rest at your sides again. Doesn't that feel great? Stretching feels soooo good, it's free and it's healing and therapeutic.....so why don't we take more time to do it?!
Why stretching is important....Stretching keeps muscles strong, healthy and flexible. Flexible muscles help you maintain range of motion in your joints. Without stretching, muscles become shortened, weak and tight, putting you at risk for strains, muscle damage and pain. 
How to stretch.....Always stretch warm muscles, not cold muscles. Spend about 5 minutes doing some sort of light movement-like walking, or jumping jacks- before you stretch. Ideally you should hold each stretch 30 seconds, but even 15-20 seconds would be good. Don't bounce, just hold the stretch and breathe. Stop if you feel any pain.  
My favorite stretch.... The Lying Pretzel Stretch, aka the Lying Gluteal Stretch.  
This is my most favorite stretch because it hits all the tight low back/glutes/hamstrings that get so sore and locked up. Start lying on the floor on your back with feet on the floor. Cross one ankle over the other knee. Gently pull the uncrossed leg towards your torso until you feel the stretch in the back of the glute/hamstring. Push the crossed knee away from you for a deeper stretch.  Hold and breathe then switch legs. You can also do this stretch while sitting at your desk. Just lean your torso towards your crossed knee. Check out my adorable niece, Evynne, demonstrating the pretzel stretch. Bet she didn't think I'd put her to work when she came to visit Aunt B and the boys! 
Sadly, stretching once today won't magically give you flexibility. Stretching is a committed process and needs to be done daily in order to get the benefits. Make a commitment to taking just 5 minutes a day to stretch and I promise you'll see a difference!
Need stretching help or ideas of where to start? Just ask! I have lots of ideas of stretches that can help with your specific areas of tightness or pain. Also,  this is a great slideshow  of 10 easy, full body stretches. Feel like you don't have much time to stretch? Try this short stretching routine 
Special Announcement
Due to extreme exhaustion and teenhood, we have decided that we are going to take a break from walking in the JDRF walk this year.
T1 and teenage hormones don't play well together and we are spending much of our "spare" time and energy on actually caring for E. This has been our hardest year yet in dealing with the highs and lows of diabetes and we are all tired.  
Even though we won't be walking this year, we have set up our team and will be virtual walkers. We still support and are so very grateful for JDRF and their fundraising and research efforts!
Please visit our team page and consider making a donation and becoming a virtual walker with us! We desperately need a cure and we need your help to raise money for this cause that is so very important to us all! Thank you for continuing to support Team E!
Wishing you a healthy and fun-filled August!

  With Love,
   Bryn Rath
  Tranquil Massage
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