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Stretch Your Way to a Better Life

Virginia Jansen discusses the importance of getting stretched.

Article by Shannon Hofer-Pottala

Photography by Lisa Cline

Originally published in Eagan City Lifestyle

January inspires people to set fitness goals. But how do you make sure you're feeling up to the task? Virginia Jansen, franchise owner of StretchLab in Eagan and St. Paul, discusses the purpose and procedure of getting stretched.

What is StretchLab?

StretchLab is a facility that stretches clients, providing a deeper stretch than could be achieved without the help of a Flexologist, or stretching professional.

"A Flexologist is one of our highly-trained employees," says Virginia. "To be a Flexologist, they need a background in fitness and a certification—some of our Flexologists have a college degree in kinesiology, some have a personal trainer certification. They are passionate about fitness and helping others. We have yoga instructors, dance instructors, massage therapists, PNAs, PNCs, and more."

What should customers expect from a visit to StretchLab?

"We have 25 and 50 minute appointments. Most people will see the largest benefit if they go 50 minutes once per week," says Virginia. "People who pick 25 minute sessions are short on the time that they need. We encourage people to come for 50 minutes if they can."

In addition to setting aside time to get stretched, "Having a plan is really important," says Virginia. "You need to know what your fitness goals are so you can meet and achieve those goals."

To determine stretching goals, customers will experience a Maps Machine. "The machine lets us know what's going on with your body," says Virginia. "For example, a red signal is caution, yellow means it might become a concern, and green means you have good flexibility and mobility in that area. If your shoulders are showing bright red, your Flexologist will know to take extra care in that area to avoid stressing it."

The Maps Machine allows your Flexologist to understand your needs. It's also a way for customers to track their mobility progress.

What are the benefits of stretching?

"There are so many benefits," says Virginia. "Mobility, flexibility, stress levels, a better way of life."

Protecting that better way of life becomes more valuable with time. "As we age, we lose our flexibility. Everything changes," says Virginia. "Mobility becomes even more important."

Stretching isn't just for the older generation. "Starting young is always important, especially for child athletes," says Virginia. "Make sure those muscles are taken care of."

Ultimately, being old or young doesn't matter when it comes to stretching. Virginia says, "Stretching is for everyone."

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