Okay, I hate to admit it, but I haven’t always been the best when it comes to stretching, but I have vowed to make it more of a habit from here on in. As I approach the half century mark the latter part of this year, it has become abundantly clear to me that I need to be more flexible. I have the cardio/weight lifting habit down, but am seriously lacking in the stretching department.
Since I can’t seem to make it into yoga as much as I would like to, I did some research on some worthwhile stretching books. I have two really good books already, but wanted something new. I found an excellent one entitled: Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition by Bob Anderson I plan to scan copies of relative pages so that I may forward them on to family/friends/clients/colleagues! If you are new to stretching, or want something for just about every sport or activity you could think of, this is the book for you. Here are highlights from the book:
Before you begin your day in the morning
At the workplace to release nervous tension
After sitting or standing for long periods of time
When you feel stiff
At odd times during the day, i.e, when watching TV, listening to music, reading, sitting and talking
√Release muscle tension making the body feel more relaxed
√Help coordination by allowing for freer and easier movement
√Increase range of motion
√Help prevent injuries such as muscle strains/sprains.
√Make strenuous activities like running, skiing, swimming, and cycling easier because it prepares you for the activity; it’s a way of signaling the muscles that they are about to be used.
√Helps maintain your current level of flexibility, so as you do not become stiffer and stiffer over time
√Develop body awareness; as you stretch various parts of your body, you focus on them and get in touch with them; you get to know yourself.
√Helps loosen the mind’s control of the body so that the body moves for “it’s own sake” rather than for competition or ego.