Stretching and Flexibility – it’s not just physical

We’ve all heard it before, exercise is good for us.  If you’re like me and you’re not a crazy exercise nut, but are still concerned with staying healthy consider adding regular stretching into your daily routine.  There may be some people who are naturally more flexible than others, but 95 percent of it is practice.  The more you stretch, the more flexible you will become.  We should also incorporate flexibility into other areas of our lives, including emotional and professional.

Incorporate resistance stretching into your routine.  This will help contract and lengthen your muscles which in turn helps you become stronger.  Did you know it takes twice as much tension to lengthen a muscle than it does to contract it?  Additionally, resistance stretching will help protect from over extension while stretching, which is when you can hurt yourself.

There’s a reason why there’s so much stretching involved in physical therapy – stretching is one of the most helpful preventative medicines.  Specific individual stretches have been reported to improve specific physiological and psychological conditions, allowing individuals to choose exact stretches that help them heal chronic problems and replace dysfunction with healthy functioning.

Stretching doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, many resistance stretches involve a partner and in fact are more effective when someone assists you.

Flexibility extends beyond the physical in our lives and in many cases can be a metaphor for change and staying healthy.  You might be physically flexible but inflexible in other areas of your life.  For example, you might need to make a life change for your health.  It could be quitting smoking, losing weight, controlling diabetes, etc.  Are you flexible enough in your life to make significant changes over time and stick to them?  Or, professionally you need to make a change.  Are you ready for some self examination and flexible enough to try a new strategy?  You had a fight with someone important in your life.  Are you flexible enough to admit to your share of fault, see their point of view, and willing to adjust and try something new that will be beneficial to both of you?

Consider incorporating flexibility and stretching into your own life, not only physically but emotionally, professionally, and in your personal relationships and you might end up happier and healthier in the long run.

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