Vigor Improvement Practices (VIPs) – FlexSkill #5

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt? 

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of VigorHow to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy


Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:

*Lose Weight

*Get in Shape

*Reduce Stress

*Get Healthier

*Win the Lottery


The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment. 

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at or at your favorite library or bookstore.


VIP: FlexSkills

In addition to the twenty-eight-minute walking program outlined above, you should consider also adding the flexibility exercises described below to further improve your circulation, balance, and strength. I call each of these ten exercises “FlexSkills,” and I’ve used them to help elite athletes in virtually every type of sport improve their stress resilience, flexibility, and resistance to injury. 

For each FlexSkill, you want to “hold” the position for thirty to sixty seconds. Each “cycle” of ten exercises, then, takes only five to ten minutes and can be performed either as a warm-up/cool-down on the days that you also do your Interval Walking or as an exercise circuit on its own. For example, you could go through all ten FlexSkills two or three times as your workout instead of walking. You may also want to use a floor mat or large towel when performing these skills.


5. Sky Reach (Targets: spine and shoulders)

Also known as the “Pillar Stretch” and the “Mountain Pose” in yoga, this FlexSkill movement can be done seated or standing. I prefer to do the Sky Reach seated with my legs crossed, because I feel that I get a better low-back stretch in the seated position, and the next FlexSkill movement is also done in a seated position. But the choice is yours, and you may wish to experiment with seated and standing positions to see which you prefer.


From a cross-legged seated position (or standing with feet shoulders’ width apart and toes pointing straight ahead), inhale slowly and deeply. Interlace your fingers, turn your palms away from your body, and reach for the sky. Look straight ahead, hold your spine straight, and breathe slowly and deeply. Hold your most comfortably extended position for thirty to sixty seconds.

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