Stretching is often considered bad manners, especially when you are in your professional space or in public. Most of us have this habit of stretching our bodies when we feel lazy or lethargic. There might have been instances where someone around must have caught you in the “act” and refrained you from doing so.
As a child, I was always reprimanded by mum for stretching after eating stomach-filling meals. I never understood what was so wrong with that. If only I knew the multiple benefits of stretching offered to the human body, I would have happily enlightened my mum in return for all the scolding she hurled at me.
If you have been scolded or glared at with anger for stretching too, well don’t be guilty, because you have just been doing good for yourself. How?
Stretching makes the body flexible
Having a flexible body is a blessing that is bestowed upon only those who exercise. Flexibility is vital as it protects one from injuries like muscle pain or tear. It also makes sure that the joints function well. As age increases, bones become weak affecting mobility. Stretching helps prevent this as it keeps the joints and muscles in good health and shape.
It ensures smooth blood flow in the body
When you stretch and move, blood reaches every muscle in the body. This avoids the muscles from becoming sore. Moreover, having good blood circulation in the body is extremely essential as it helps in preventing diseases and keeps the lungs and heart functioning.
Stretching helps in calming the mind and bust stress
We stretch when lazy or lethargic for a reason. It helps in shedding the lethargy and refreshes the mind. Stretching acts as a mental break from all the work that is stressing you out. When the mind and body is stressed, the muscles become tight and rigid. Stretching loosens up the muscles and helps in releasing the tension.
Stretching helps perform physical activities smoothly
Domestic activities that require one to exert physical efforts like pushing of heavy furniture, lifting bags, mopping the floor, etc can most of the time cause minor to severe muscle pain. This happens when the muscles aren’t flexible enough. Practicing daily can make performing physical activities easy.
How to go about stretching:
Though stretching might not sound like a big deal, you must still do it mindfully. Make sure you have a fixed time for it. Mornings are the best time. It is a form of exercise that must have a proper time in your daily routine. 30-45 minutes of stretching daily can have magical effects on the body. Before you start with it, do a light warm-up so that your body eases into the workout. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds for each side of your body. Start slowly with few stretches and gradually increase your capacity by each day or week. If your work involves sitting in one place in front of the computer desktops for hours, taking a break and stretching for a few minutes can help.
Certain ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind:
Stretching, if done incorrectly can cause injuries and we certainly do not want that. So to avoid these keep these ‘don’ts’ in mind.
- Don’t push yourself over the edge. Stretch only that much how much your body allows you to
- Don’t stretch of you are having a muscle injury
- Don’t bounce while stretching. This can cause muscle/tissue tear
- Don’t overdo. While starting new, excitement can take over, but make sure you don’t exhaust your body completely.
- Don’t stretch before or immediately after eating or drinking something. This can cause you to vomit or feel giddy.
So next time anyone refrains you from stretching, tell them the benefits of it and keep going on.