What happens when you don’t stretch when hiking?

When I was preparing for my hike, I had an ambitious idea: every morning and evening I would do a little yoga to warm up my body or stretch out from the day’s exertion. Nothing fancy, just a couple sun salutations or simple Warrior sequences. Sadly, this never happened. There wasn’t space, there wasn’t time, there simply wasn’t enough motivation! I didn’t stretch at all, and the last couple days all my rubber bands have been overworked and tight.

I’m recovering pretty quickly; any soreness has dissipated, though I still feel some weakness in my legs, especially the small muscles that support my knees. The gym was calling to me, but running or lifting didn’t sound good. Yoga, on the other hand, sounded great.

It took me forever to stretch out the back of my legs enough to make a forward bend work, and a wide-legged forward fold was amazing. The twist in the Big Toe sequence was also pretty great. However, I had to stay away from seated quad stretches, since most of them have the feet flat on the mat and no way in heck were my unhappy toenails going to put up with that. (Up dogs today were done with my knees bent and feet in the air. Whatevs.)

But I feel like a new person afterwards. My rubber bands are stretchy again, and the blood is flowing. Ahhh.

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