Why we stretch… Mind and Body

Ever wondered why we stretch post session? Is it all really for flexibility?

What do you think about post training stretching?

Stretching the body and the mind post session is an important process. Not only are you able to allow for muscle decompression but also the ability for you to bring your breathing back to a steady state and let your mind flow through whatever it may need to clear or see.

Sometimes our minds can be that busy we sit there and try to switch it off. Like, if I asked you to not think about a pink elephant what is the first thing that comes to mind? What about now? I believe there is a better approach.

Imagine you are sitting on the curb watching all the cars go by. If you jump out on a busy highway it would be a dangerous mess. If you sat there and just watched the cars go by, you could just sit and observe in peace.  Imagine your thoughts like those cars.  Let them pass and watch them drive by. Don’t create more chaos.  When there is only one or two cars (thoughts) on the road, then you can spend more time on them specifically as your mind is allowing you to take action.

Here are some amazing benefits on our body while stretching:

  • You’ll relieve PMS (for the ladies obviously)

Women who suffer from PMS symptoms, such as pain, emotional imbalance and bloating, have reported benefits from performing yoga stretches. It’s not known why, but according to the researcher Dr Ratna Sharma, after the yoga course, sufferers had higher levels of allopregnanolone, a natural antidepressant, in their bodies.

  • You’ll be able to exercise for longer

“Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons, which relieves muscle fatigue,” says Floreani. “As we get older we become less flexible, as we spend so long at a desk or on the couch. By stretching, we’re warming up those sleepy areas of our body and reminding them it’s time to get moving.

  • You’ll be less tired

When muscles stay still the blood pools in the muscles, which makes you feel tired and sluggish, As soon as you move you nourish the muscles and improve your concentration levels as your brain gets some blood flow. By moving away from your desk every twenty minutes or so is enough to help relieve fatigue.

  • You’ll sleep soundly

Good news if you’re postmenopausal. A regular morning routine of stretching and light exercise has been proven to give you a good night’s sleep, compared to women who do no exercise or exercise in the evening.

  • You’ll be less likely to get an injury

Stretching has been shown to remind your brain in regards to the correct length your muscles are meant to be at when you’re exercising. After a ten-minute stretching before working out, you’ll have better coordination and it’ll be less likely that your muscles will tear, this is why warm up and cool downs play a vital role in exercise.

Happy stretching!

Nicole
Nicole McDermott
nic@thechieflife.com

I am passionate about working with people on a holistic level to balance hormones, improve mood, manage weight all whilst educating people on the benefits of a balanced whole foods diet. Follow more great advice from Nic here.