Most of us could use a good stretch.  Whether you’ve been sitting at the computer or up on your feet all day, your muscles could benefit from some stretching time.  Today we’ll discuss some of the benefits of stretching, which can be both physical and mental.

Stretching can prevent injuries and pain.
Our muscles work best when our joints are aligned properly.  As we go through repetitive motions and postures throughout our day, some muscle groups tighten up and can pull our joints out of alignment.  This can result in chronic muscle pain or exercise injuries.  A regular stretching routine helps keep your joints aligned so your muscles can move freely and easily.

Stretching can help you breathe deeper and more effectively.
Getting more oxygen to your brain is a good thing!  The diaphragm is the major muscle that expands and contracts your lungs, but there are many muscles around your neck and ribcage that help out in the process.  Unfortunately these muscles get short and weak with prolonged slouching, like the kind of slouching we all usually do over a computer desk.  A stretching session can free up those muscles to take a deep, refreshing breath of air!

Stretching can help reduce emotional stress.
The act of stretching signals to your central nervous system that it is time to relax and heal.  This decreases the release of stress hormones, resulting in a calm state of mind.

If you’d like some ideas for a stretching routine you can do at your desk, check out these ideas from my teachers at Slobody.
8/24/2012 11:23:40 am

Well put Mary! I especially like what you said about emotional stress and how it effects on the CNS. Remember, I still owe you a stretch! Call me when you want to come in!

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8/24/2012 10:49:33 pm

I was just thinking about how my shoulders could use a good stretch the other day, I will call you soon!

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