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Stretch to Success

It’s not easy finding time to exercise.

Committed fitness enthusiasts usually squeeze in their daily dose of cardio, but who among us always takes time to stretch after a workout? With increasing responsibilities and the need to “do more with less” business leaders are finding ways to streamline their health and fitness activities and focus on the next project, deadline or crisis of the day.

11745987-1024x683_stretch When it comes to prioritizing, it’s easy to select the exercise options that yield noticeable results instead of stretching. However, stretching at least 20 to 30 minutes a week can provide lasting benefits, especially as you get older. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, we should spend at least 10 minutes after exercising to stretch major muscle and tendon groups.

Stretching offers many perks, including improved flexibility, circulation, balance and coordination. If you need structure and encouragement, participating in a class is an excellent way to get started. Our own City of Des Moines can help with its free “Yoga in the Park” Saturday morning sessions at Gray’s Lake this summer.

Stretching also holds importance in today’s business world, and I think it’s time to revisit the “stretch goals” philosophy of Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Stretch goals, by definition, seem beyond reach at the present time, and can be used to inspire employees and encourage innovative ideas. 

Using Welch’s goal-setting theory, consider these questions when evaluating professional stretching:

  1. How has the stretch goal helped improve performance relative to past performance?
  2. What impact has the stretch goal had on your level of performance in comparison to your competitors’ performance?
  3. If not yet achieved, how close have you come to the stretch goal? Was the progress meaningful?

Make time to stretch. As in exercise routines, striving for stretch goals may not be an immediate priority, but working toward them can have a tremendous positive benefit on your future.


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Many of us live in a fast-paced, sometimes hectic world and exercise is personal time to release a lot of stress we build up inside.

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