I have heard many clients say the above statement to me, and if I am being totally honest, there was a time when I subscribed to that notion. Until...
A few years ago I developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a inflammation of the connective tissue that connects your heel to your toes (bottom of your foot). The pain was debilitating to the point of not being able to put much weight on that foot upon waking in the morning. After 8 or more hours of sleep, with my foot in plantar flexion (or pointed), stepping out of bed stretched it to the point of immense pain. It took several minutes of "warming up" to get it to a point where I could walk down the street to the gym.
The first time I got PF I immediately booked an apt, with a highly recommended foot doctor. He prescribed me expensive orthotics and said that I needed to tie my shoes. At the time my sneaks were very loose fitting and no, I didn't tie my shoes. I didn't like the way they looked tied. Ridiculous, I know.
I got the orthotics and used them as prescribed. I tied my shoes too. The pain didn't go away though. I mentioned to a gym colleague that I had a severe case of PF and he said that I needed to start stretching. In my mind I thought, no way will that take away this horrible pain but I felt like I didn't have many options so I began stretching regularly. I started to notice that it was actually helping my foot pain so I started stretching a couple of times a day and progressed my stretching to incorporating splits. With every stretch session came more relief.
After the PF was completely gone, I discontinued the split routine of stretching but I now religiously stretch after every workout, no matter how short. To me, stretching is like meditating. It is a hard thing to get started or maintain a routine in because the rewards are often not immediate, BUT in time, and usually after every attempt, you are glad you did it. Especially as you feel the difference, however slight (or profound) it may feel.
Julia Broome is passionate about health and exercise but is most excited about educating women concerning the short and long term impact of exercise on pregnant women and their baby.