I've wanted to make my own cherry cordial for the longest time, so when it was time to get started on our 12 Days of Edible Gifts, I knew exactly what I'd be making. For those of you who aren't familiar with cherry bounce, it's nothing new. It's rather old, in fact — colonialists and pilgrims were known to drink it, and Martha Washington famously recorded her recipe for cherry bounce, which she served during the holidays and other special occasions. This after-dinner libation, which is made by steeping cherries and sugar in brandy, rum, and sometimes whiskey, originated in the Northeast but has since spread across the country. Today, it can be found everywhere from the woodlands of rural Louisiana to Michigan cherry-growing country. With its spiced, black fruit notes, cherry bounce is a sweet after-dinner digestif — and an even lovelier handmade gift. Make it this holiday when you read more.
I remember taking a dance class when I was a little girl. We would always do floor exercises to warm up before dancing. My favorite was called Flying Butterfly. We'd sit down, facing the mirror of course, and put our feet together and our knees out wide. Then the teacher would say "Fly, butterflies, fly," and we'd flap our little knee wings.
Now we know that bouncing your body while you stretch is a big no-no. But why?
Bouncing can cause microtrauma in the muscle, which must heal itself with scar tissue. The scar tissue tightens the muscle, making you less flexible, and more prone to pain. This type of repetitive, bouncing stretch is called Ballistic Stretching and it can strain your muscles and tendons because they aren't quite warmed up yet.
Think of it this way. Your muscles are like bubble gum. If you stretch a cold piece of gum, it'll snap rather than stretch. Your muscles work the same way. They've got to be warmed up in order to be pliable.
Static Stretching, where you you hold one position for a period of time is much gentler on your body, because you ease your muscles into it. When you stretch, you want to work your edge, lengthening the muscle as far as you can, feeling a stretch, but NOT feeling pain.
Fit's Tips: Make sure you breath while you're stretching because holding your breath can increase your blood pressure, making you feel dizzy.