Health Physical health

Why do we need to stretch?

We come to this world with our soul, a body and mind. If we don’t take care of our body, who’d do it for us?

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Out of all the things you don’t care in this world, you want to care about your health. Without the body helps you, you’re merely a soul with a bunch of concepts, nowhere to be utilised.

Before we dive into the topic, I want to state that there are subtle differences in between stretching and Yoga, so I’m discussing the common areas of two.

We grow up with a sense that stretching is the warm-up routine for us to play sport. Nobody has told us stretching is another subject we need to spend additional time on, just like all the other sports.

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You’ll start to feel the stiffness when you pass the twenties. Like your muscles will be out of shape and starting to deteriorate. Soreness and inconsistent sleep become the new set of reminders for you with the news every morning.

Our body needs extension. Haven’t you realised that we shrink ourselves very often?
Just think about what are the most frequent postures you do throughout a day?
Maybe standing? Sitting? Walking? Crouching or lying? These postures are most frequent we humans do throughout a lifetime. We never aware of it until the AH-HA moment kicks in.

If you know you’ll be doing those postures day after day, shouldn’t you do other postures to balance it out? Like if you crouch too much, do a wheel pose. In fact, this is what stretching all about. Work on the opposite side of the body parts that you’ve used, to balance and maintain the wellness.

As we remind ourselves in the need of extension for our body, we slowly develop a stretching habit, and the passion will grow from there. Building a healthy routine starts from the smallest thought, with consistent energy streaming in.

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The habit can be as little as 2 minutes a day for the start. keep it for a month, but be consistent. The main goal here is to get yourself to like stretching, before moving onto more progressive stages.

Our body development is constant, and recessive after hitting each peak. The cycle continues until we pass away. When we don’t stretch, the most obvious thing we’ll notice is the gears of ours are rusting on the edge. We’d need extra force to play the sport that we used to very good at. And because we never learnt that stretching is another sport, which is essential before doing any sport, we’d think it’s our body aging, naturally.

The first benefit of stretching is, reversing aging. Now, our body will age this is the fact. However, through stretching daily, it’ll slow the progress and rejuvenate your mental health. Our body is a vessel only. Your mentality and how it’s thinking toward your body determine the speed of the aging substantially. If you keep on thinking you’re old, even though you’re only twenty-three, for example, chances are you’ll age a lot faster than the people of the same age.

Stretching is to help you break the mental aging image. As you stretch, you’ll know your flexibility, which is something it can improve through repetition. Some talented people might inborn with incredible flexibility, but it doesn’t mean they don’t require the action of stretching. The more you stretch, the more you can feel your body isn’t that old you once thought. Never too late.

Another benefit in stretching is that you’re vitalising not only your strength, but also every part of your body; the skins, underlying muscles, bones, ligaments, and internal organs. The reason is simple, stretching requires your whole body to focus, to stretch.

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Meditating. As you stretch at ease, you’ll concentrate on your breathing while doing poses. This allows your mind absent from thinking of other things. There are two benefits, the first one is you’re basically in the flow state. The second benefit is you’re training yourself to be more focused. This skill will help you to be more attentive and observant when you’re outside, dealing with other people, in a completely different environment.

Stretching is a way for you to connect with your circle. As you build up your habit, it’s always good to tell your friends about what you’ve been up to lately. Getting them to be aware of the importance of stretching, you’re basically helping them to avoid getting injured. Good flexibility and enough Warm-Up reduce such risks considerably.

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There are certainly more benefits you’ll get from stretching. But I’ll let you explore, and comment down below about your discovery! If you don’t get the benefits as I stated above through regular stretching, I’d suggest you to try on Yoga. Frankly, stretching is the entry, doing Yoga is the goal for you. Because I have a dancing background, and have been stretching for years, even through I didn’t take it seriously until two years ago, it was plain and simple for me to understand these concepts and applied to my own after learning Yoga.

I’m happy that I’d finally touched on Stretching this topic as it has been sitting in my head for a while! I hope it helps you in any way!

One last thing, check this girl out if you haven’t already. Rebecca Sereda, a former world-class gymnast, suffered debilitating back pains which set her back to retirement eventually. Her dream to be on the Olympic floor had been crushed to pieces. How she overcame the tragedy and looked back her footprints is motivational and inspirational. Here is her story.

In the next coming health related articles, I’ll be sharing methods I use in Yoga and simplify it to stretching in general, along with a few other ‘self -regulating’ methods to maintain One’s health. I call it a ‘Self – regulating system’.

Photos by Marion Michele, Cathy Pham, Giovanny Ayala, Jakob Owens from Unsplash

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