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Stretching: The Mental Health Benefits

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Nowadays I don't need to fall to not be able to get back up. All I need to do is either sit in a chair for more than ten minutes, or actually lay down and then I'm stiff as a board when getting up and moving around. Okay, I do have lupus which is a connective tissue situation which lead to tight, stiff joints, muscles and ligaments and, yes, I'm prone to aching muscles. Okay, okay, I'm also forty, so, well, there's THAT. But I also don't really stretch enough and that's what the real problem is.

Do you know why yoga is so popular? I know it's because a lot of women want to look like the slender white body-suited things on the covers of the healthy people magazines, but it's also because stretching just feels so fantastic, physically and mentally. The following link will take you to some really fantastic stretching routines as well as an explanation of why stretching may benefit you.

Stretching, as is common knowledge, is fantastic for warming up the muscles and cooling them down, both before and after exercise. Yet we often take stretching for granted, like a side kick. Yoga is one of the only exercises to really give stretching its proper due, respecting the anti-gravity, anti-stress properties of stretching as front and center in our daily routines. We can lengthen, undo knots in our muscles, smooth out hurts, aches, and pains. We feel freer in our skin, more relaxed.
Blood flow increases and our heart rate does too, without being overly taxed. There is no impact on ankles and knees, and our breathing goes in and out rhythmically, soothing us, bringing our brain waves to a calm and peaceful state. Stretching is both underrated and so simple it can hardly be believed. Even if you don't have an expensive yoga suit or can't make it to a class, reach up and touch the sky and then down to your toes. That smile may come easier, too.

Aimee Boyle tries to avoid sitting or laying down for extended periods of time as she is worried she may not get up again in CT.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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