Until recently, I didn’t realize how important flexibility was to overall health. I thank my mother everyday for putting me in dance class and I thank my stars that I loved it. I danced daily throughout my teens and regularly through my twenties. My thirties presented a few challenges for me as I struggled to find the time to workout and care for my newly expanding >:-/ childbearing body… I’m happy to report, I found ways and will gladly share some in other posts.
Now in my 40’s, I exercise regularly, though not fanatically as I did in my 20’s. I’m still extremely flexible. I take yoga classes or at least incorporate some sort of stretching almost daily. On the recommendation of a friend advanced in his spiritual practice, I usually try to stretch at least 5 minutes before bed.
In its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity; it is performed by humans and many animals. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting confined spaces or areas. Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. It is common for athletes to stretch before and after exercise in order to reduce injury and increase performance.
Yoga involves the stretching of major muscle groups, some of which require a high level of flexibility to perform, for example the lotus position. It’s good to stretch the wrists, forearms, hands and feet as well. I see a chiropractor as often as possible so I can even have my joints/bones stretched and put back in order!
Stretching can strengthen muscles, and in turn strong muscles are important to stretching safely and effectively. Stretching must be performed correctly. There are many techniques for stretching in general, but depending on which muscle group is being stretched, some techniques may be ineffective or dangerous.
If you are not physically fit or used to stretching I HIGHLY recommend you take a class or try some of the great resources available on and offline.
We only have one physical body, so I’m off to treat it to a gentle morning stretch…