Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The joys of stretch

You would probably not consider that stretching is all that important or even useful, there is certainly an on ongoing debate in certain quarters about the hows, whys and whens of it. I certainly didn't think of it all that highly, and being tall it always felt like painful origami (that really just looked funny and hurt a lot!). Perhaps it is the creeping passing of age, or just a straight-forward epiphany that has lead me to change my views a smidge...

"Stretching is good", there glad I got that out. Stretching sessions can improve balance, muscle tone, and posture, quite apart from easing aches or simply getting loose before a big effort. The challenge is to keep on remembering the benefits and keeping them going. Here I have struggled in the past, and I would imagine its a common phenomena. How many get injured, go to a physiotherapist, get loads of helpful exercises to do, and then to quit them as soon as the painful phase of the injury passes? Yes, I have been in that cohort. Find some good (hopefully useful) stretches and give them a go over a prolonged period.

I have in fact a set of base stretches that I do that I first started when I lost my big weight back in 2000-2001. They came from an exercise DVD that I used to do several times a week to try and help lose the weight. I remember little of the exercises or routines (and have managed to blank out the horrific Lycra images), but have it seems committed the five minute stretch pattern to a very long term part of my memory. What I am trying to do is build new stretches into this and keep them going over a similar period. So perhaps what I am trying to suggest just here is, if you're stuck for some good ones 'borrow' an aerobics DVD and memorise its stretch / warm-up as a way into a repeatable everyday session. You can give / put the DVD back afterwards and not tell another soul if you like... it has taken me nearly ten years to confess after all!

PS. no, I am not putting an image of me stretching in this post... you'll have to make do with the internet stock photo instead.

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