There are a lot of things we do unconsciously that matter so much. One of these habitual actions, which are a vital part of our daily routines, is Stretching. Although pretty self-defining, stretching helps the body in a lot of ways. This form of physical exercise allows you flex a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone.
In a Safety Moment during a Quality Management Systems (QMS) session I sat in for a colleague last Monday, the Presenter, Mr Chidera Iloejesi, opened my eyes to a variety of positives about stretching. I left the session with a will to consciously stretch my body at least twelve times daily.
Why? When? Who? And precautions to take while stretching? These are common existential questions we have at the back of our minds when considering this. It is therefore, with utmost delight, that I inform you that stretching leads to improved posture and improved mental health. It also helps alleviate muscle soreness and enhance flexibility and balance.
Interestingly, stretching can also be kind of dangerous. I love the way GMB Fitness put it – “Anything can be dangerous if you do it wrong, and stretching is certainly no exception”. Stretching the hell out of a muscle will ‘loosen’ the muscle, and if you do this before an activity that requires that muscle to contract quickly, it might not be prepared to respond, and you could hurt yourself. Please bear in mind that being flexible does not imply that you are able to do the splits or crazy contortionist backward bending. It safely means that you have a level of mobility that does not hold you back from what you want to be able to do.
Written by Ifeanyi Okpala