Feeling like your thinking is tied up in knots? Stretching yourself, both physically and mentally is a fantastic way to relax and reboot. I recently saw these benefits of stretching on lifehacker.com:
For Your Body
Helps improve flexibility
Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position
Potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity
ncreases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness
For Your Mind
Even a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body a chance to recharge
Classes like yoga or pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension both physically and mentally.
I took this to heart and went to a yoga boot camp – thinking that sounded like a great relaxer. It was, but I clearly overlooked the “boot camp” part of the advertisement. This was not the chill time I was expecting.
I reluctantly learned that, when you do the dolphin pose, you can walk your feet up the wall at the same time. And that those stretch bands you get in PT double as triceps builders and help distract you when you’re in a squat for five minutes. A two-minute long active side-plank at the end almost finished me off ;-).
However, I definitely felt more relaxed afterwards! I also was a complete noodle and found it hard to hold up my fork at dinner – an added bonus as it meant I only ate as much as I needed, with no desire to stuff my face.
The following day I discovered even more benefits from my boot camp experience. Total awareness. I could actively feel every muscle in my whole body. As a matter of fact, my chest muscles were so tight I found it hard to breathe.
What to do? Naturally, I stretched. I could still feel those sore chest muscles but my posture felt better and I felt stronger somehow.
This week why not take time to stretch and find out what the benefits are for you? It’s summer – experiment with new ways to set yourself up for a #creativegenius day.