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Mindful Moments - The importance of stretching

Ask yourself... "Have I had a good stretch today?"

By engaging in a stretching routine each and every day will help your range of motion and flexibility. Not only that but it is proven that stretching is good for your mental health because it can help to reduce stress and tension. It also increases the bloods circulation as well as releasing endorphins helping the reduction of pain in your body. When these endorphins are released in our body, we get that feel good factor. If you observe a dog or a cat waking up after a sleep, they will more often than not have a good stretch and sometimes a shake of their whole-body. Stop reading this for a moment and have a stretch now! When you stretch the muscles are lengthened and this begins with the sarcomere which is the contraction in the muscle fibres. When fully stretched all of the sarcomeres will be fully stretched as well. You can train your stretch receptors little by little and eventually this may allow greater lengthening of the muscles. Stretching can be carried out anywhere. But one way to have a good stretch if you are sitting down is to simply stretch out your arms in front of you. Now raise your arms above your head and stretch up to the ceiling or the sky. It will help if you slowly and carefully tilt your head back and arch your back. Hold for a short while and then slowly release and relax from your stretch. Of course, there are classes to learn certain stretching moves such as Yoga and Pilates classes for this idea in mind. The effects on the body: When you stretch, your muscles will begin to work in a way in which your body recognises and therefore pump blood into the muscles. This in turn will provide imperative nutrients to the muscles, and of course the blood also takes away the lactic acid that the muscles create during a workout. In actual fact the muscles override blood being sent to other organs and kidney and stomach. So, improve your posture as well as your wellbeing and start giving time for a stretch each and every day.


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