Stretching may be the ultimate cost effective secret to natural health. However, while it does take time do not let that stop you from attaining natural health. In order to successfully implement a stretching regimen you will have to first, prioritize it mentally with the realization that it is very important because for your long term natural health it is.
What does stretching do to your body and brain?
When you stretch you are essentially working out as far as your muscles are concerned. You tense your muscles which then squeezes your veins and forces your blood to circulate. Now your heart is getting a work out as it is pumping more blood. Increasing circulation brings fresh oxygenated blood to your body more often, which essentially flushes your system of the waste and or toxins that your body excretes. Your brain is a muscle as well and benefits from the increased circulation. Which is why you feel relaxed and clear headed during and after stretching. Combine your stretches with slow deep breathing techniques and you are now delivering even more oxygenated blood to your body and brain.
Stretching also increases your strength and mobility while preventing injury. Retaining our mobility as we age is something we should all stop and think about. Too many elderly are being rendered immobile and could have avoided this simply by stretching. It is usually a slow process so most of us don’t even think about it. Consider yourself have you lost some mobility as you have aged? If you can answer Yes then you should realize how vital it is that you begin stretching and being more active. We are the most advanced creatures on planet earth yet that seems to be our down fall as well. We keep ourselves so busy so preoccupied that we forget about the simple stuff, we forget about ourselves.
Where to begin?
First you must schedule time for stretching. Perhaps for some, the most difficult to begin but the easiest to make habitual is to stretch first thing when you wake up. We say most difficult to begin because it will be difficult to get up even earlier. We say the easiest to make a habit because you will immediately notice the benefits from stretching as soon as you awake. Think about it you have been lying there all night, while you sleep your body and brain of course slow down. Therefore your blood does not circulate as well, so when you first awake is when your body and brain will be most happy about receiving fresh oxygenated blood. Also you don’t move much while sleeping so you are likely stiff when you awaken. Stretching will loosen up your muscles including your brain and prepare you for the day ahead. Deciding on when to stretch is not as important as just doing it. In the end the important thing is that you are stretching, not necessarily when. Perhaps you should start right now?
Before you do stretch there are a few things that should be kept in mind. Stretching is a workout and you can inure yourself if you jump in to a deep stretch without preparing your body. You must ease your body in to stretches especially if you are just beginning. Breathing is very important while you are stretching the idea is to increase circulation of oxygenated blood. Focusing on your breathing (slow deep inhale and exhale) will take your focus away from the burning and fatigue feelings that you get when stretching. Thus allowing you to hold a stretch longer and more precisely. This should be viewed for long term results it takes time to become more flexible. Lastly if it is too painful stop and asses why it is so painful. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself so you can not stretch anymore.