Have you ever considered how much stretching may impact and reduce stress in your life? Most people do instinctive stretching. You may see somebody if they’ve been sitting for a while, they stand up and they arch backwards. They don’t take notice of what they’re doing. It’s just a natural instinct that they’re reversing the action of the forward bend that sitting does.

What about if we were to put a bit more focus on things and spend some time every day, say 7 to 10 minutes stretching a day.

You may go to a yoga class, or a stretch class once a week and do nothing in between. If you start to apply the 4 directional stretches, the forward bend, the back bend, side bend and the twist applying stretches to them, and do them every day there are ten benefits that this will give you.

When you stretch, you create more flexibility. When you apply stretching effectively you develop more flexibility. You put more distance between the origin and insertion points of the muscle.


  1. Improve joint range of movement, without compromising joint stability. Having more length in the muscles naturally improves joint range of movement.
  1. Prevent Injury. Muscle tightness is one of the most common factors in causing injury
  1. Decreases muscle soreness after exercise. After exercise, you may feel a bit stiff and sore in the muscles, or sitting in a state of tension caused by stress, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and this is what creates the soreness in the muscles. Stretching reduces the lactic acid in the body.
  1. Promotes circulation, increases blood supply and nutrients to muscles and joints.
  1. Develops mind, body awareness as the body is allowed to move more freely when stretching is applied with focussed attention.
  1. Enhances co-ordination, by allowing freedom of movements.
  1. Improves posture with the structures being more balanced and even.
  1. Reduces stress and pain by getting rid of tension and the lactic acid in the body.
  1. Loosens the minds control of the body. Just as your heart beats and you breathe without you thinking about it, so too should the body move naturally without the interference of the mind.
  1. Enhances performance and quality of life. Because stretching reduces stress and pain you function better to be able to cope and perform at your peak. This gives you the ability to be of more value to yourself and others.

Have you ever seen what they call the old person’s stoop. The old people stoop over, because their iliopsoas muscle in front of the hip is so tight, usually caused by too much sitting and the muscle learns to live in that shortened position. That’s what pulls those people over and those people love sitting down because it relaxes the muscle but it also makes the problem worse by creating more imbalance in the body.

When muscles are tight, the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles is reduced. This causes pain and keeps the muscles in their shortened positioned as a means of trying to protect them and the cycle keeps repeating itself over and over.

Dogs and cats stretch every time they get up to move. They don’t think about it, they just do it naturally because they know. They are the experts in movement.

To get the these ten benefits from stretching make it a part of your life every day

Copyright 2015 Ray Goslin


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