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The Importance of Stretching In Preventing Obesity

Many people overlook the role that stretching your muscles plays in preventing obesity and maintaining  health and wellness. Stretching is more than a method used to prepare the body for movement and activity. It is an integrative and holistic process that incorporates your mind,  emotions and your body. It increases flexibility and relieves stress. It is also an effective calorie burner.

Proper stretching requires you to breath into the stretch. The deeper you can breath the better the stretch and the more relaxed you feel. Deep breathing has a very calming and soothing effect on both the mind and the body. When the mind and the body are relaxed, calm and at ease this in turn causes us to be calm emotionally. Deep breathing also brings about clarity and sharper thinking. You are much more creative and better able to solve problems and respond to them instead of react. Your body follows your mind.

Deep breathing uses oxygen. This use of oxygen serves several purposes. It provides the brain, which uses 20-25 percent of all oxygen that is used by the body, with a rich supply of it. Oxygen is also a very vital component of the fat burning process. Oxygen burns fat.

As mentioned earlier deep breathing requires lots of oxygen which also activates the parasympathetic system which causes what is called “the relaxation response”. Causing this response encourages the body to burn fat. So you get two benefits calmness and fat burning occuring at the same time. How great is that! I love two for ones.

Stretching elongates the body giving you the appearance and feel of losing weight. You will notice your clothes fitting better and you will look better in them. You may weigh the same weight so don’t be discouraged. People put way too much emphasis on the scale anyway. So remember to not put all of your emphasis on the scale , consider how you look and feel too as they are very important and keep you motivated.

It is very important to stretch properly. The first order of business is to make sure you have comfortable clothing that allows you to stretch. Secondly, you want to be in the proper frame of mind, so do not rush or force yourself. You want to relax and let go. Say these words as you are stretching. Breath deeply while stretching, only going as far as you can go without feeling any pain. If you feel pain back off, ease up and just breath deeply in whatever position you’re in. Focus on your breath not how far you have stretched or want to stretch.

It is better to stretch on the floor that way you are not working against gravity or yourself. While lying on the floor take a couple of deep breaths and then put your attention on each part of your body from head to toe and notice how it feels. Notice any tightness or pain. If your lower back hurts while lying down bend your legs by raising your knees, or place a pillow under your knees.

You don’t have to always stretch lying down, although I love doing it in my bed before I get out of bed. That way I’m sure to get it in. You can stretch while standing, sitting, up against a wall, over an exercise ball or use stairs. They are books on stretching and things like Yoga or Athletic Training in your local library and book store.

Some quick stretches you can get in are yawning, your neck by rotating your head slowly, as well as your wrists, shoulders, arms out in a “V” shape or just simply hanging over. You can do the hanging over either sitting or standing. If you are standing and the back of your legs are tight bend your knees. You can twist your spine by turning slowly from side to side while seated. If you’re standing just slowly move your upper body while keeping your lower body facing front. Through out it all remember to keep breathing, take your time and relax.

I hope you can see that this can be some thing that is rewarding and supportive in preventing obesity, providing you with many benefits other than just weight loss. Incorporate it into your day, while you are at your desk, waiting in line or traffic, watching your child’s game. There are so many ways you can fit stretching in and it doesn’t have to be so obvious you just have to remember to do it. Stretch with your children or with a group of friends that have a common goal of getting in shape.

For more information on eating healthy for you and your kids get a free report or read the blog at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com.

2 Responses to “The Importance of Stretching In Preventing Obesity”

  1. I didn’t know that stretching has so many benefits, it was a great surprise because one of my favorite exercises is Yoga and I sometimes felt like it didn’t helped me much in maintain good form.
    Thanks!
    Lena

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      Yes Lena, it really does a lot of good, both for your body and for your mind. Yoga is a favorite of mine too along with Belly Dancing. Yoga also has a cumulative effect. I find that even if I only do a little it’s so beneficial.

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