Chloe Hart, Massage Therapist, Pilates Instructor
Cats Love to stretch! They seem to get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from a nice long stretch. I’ve never seen a cat come away from a stretch with a grumpy disposition!
I think we can learn a lot from our feline friends. Everyone should learn to stretch. You don’t need to be an athlete or in super shape to do it. Everyone, though their daily activities, has muscle tightening and tension. Stretching daily can improve flexibility, range of motion of the joints and muscle tone, leaving you feeling more relaxed and with easier movement.
Stretching isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your mind too. Studies show that stretching can improve your sleep and relieve the symptoms of depression. Stretching in the morning is a great way to start your day with focus and leaves you feeling relaxed and ready for the day. It also sorts out that clunky stiffness that can be present in your bones and muscles first thing in the morning.
The best time to stretch is when your muscles are already warm. Your muscles are like an elastic band. When elastic is cold it’s harder to stretch – and easier to tear – but when it’s warm it has a lot more give. Your muscles are the same. That’s why stretching your muscles after you work out is so good for your flexibility.
However, stretching throughout the day is beneficial to your muscles as well. Stretching relieves tension which occurs through daily activity so stretching while at work or after standing or sitting can help keep you feeling connected to your body and ache-free; which will improve your energy levels, concentration and productivity.