I don’t know about you but I’m always in the habit of giving thanks for the blessings I receive, especially this holiday season when my family and I recently welcomed a new addition … a baby boy named Eli. Suffice to say, Eli and Nicole are both doing really well, and Avery, our 3 year old son, is adjusting just fine to his new role as a big brother.

While my family and I are readjusting to old routines this holidays season (i.e., feeding the baby, changing diapers, making silly baby faces, etc.), for many people the holidays mean taking a break from theirs, including scaling back on stretching and exercising.

There is no doubt that the ‘off-season’ is a great time to recover and reflect on the year gone by. I’m a big believer that strength and long-term recovery happen when you’re relaxed (the body’s relaxation response has a direct effect on regulating hormones and healing deep connective tissues that took a beating throughout the year).

Last year I wrote a short article about the importance of taking care of yourself during the off-season. As I say in the article, in the off-season, stretching is a real lifesaver. It’s a great way to stay active, stimulate recovery and encourage relaxation, without having the high breakdown factor associated with full-on exercise.

Regardless of what you choose to do this holiday season, from my family to yours, here’s wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy time.