Originally published April 24 2009
Stay Young and Healthy with Regular Stretching
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) We are all well aware of the importance of stretching before taking part in any form of strenuous exercise. It loosens the muscles, fills them with oxygen and helps prevent serious injury. But staying flexible through regular stretching can have many other health benefits. It helps keep our joints loose and muscles supple well in to our old age when the simplest of tasks can become difficult.
"An effective exercise programme should include both strength work and aerobic work, but also and probably most importantly you need to work on your flexibility" says Nick Price personal trainer and nutrition expert.
Yoga with its deep controlled breathing and stretching to form different poses is becoming more and more popular. This is thanks mainly to the testimonies of people like Madonna and Jennifer Aniston who claim that yoga is the key to maintaining their slender figures. While this promise of a fit toned body may bring many people to this ancient art form, it's because of all the other amazing health benefits that people make it an integral part of their lives.
Give your body an oil change
Stretching and breathing deeply through yoga can produce warm feelings of euphoria. This is due to the oxygen and blood that flows through your entire body with every deep breath and each new stretch. It gives people an iridescent glow meaning that they look as good as they feel. But while you stretch and contort your body during a yoga class this amazing feeling is not the only thing going on in your body. Many yoga teachers compare doing yoga to giving your body a tune up and oil change. This is not entirely true because yoga doesn't actually change any fluids, but it does do a great job of moving them around. The synovial fluid is a stringy egg white like substance that protects our joints and helps give them their range of movement. Doing yoga poses and keeping yourself flexible helps move this fluid around and can protect against osteoarthritis. It does this by keeping the cartilage well nourished and by stopping the bones from rubbing together and wearing out.
Your lymphatic system
It may come as a bit of a surprise to you but there is more lymphatic fluid in your body than blood. It is through this fluid that your body is able to get rid of any unwanted toxins such as bacteria, dead cells, trapped protein and fat globules. A sluggish lymphatic system can cause all sorts of health problems from weight gain to cancer. Because the lymphatic system doesn't have its own pump, such as the heart, it relies solely on movement to help it reach all parts of the body. It has been found that the best ways to get your lymphatic system pumping are through light stretching, exercise and deep breathing.
It doesn't have to be too strenuous and you don't have to be a yoga master to feel the benefits. Even five minutes of stretching before bed will help your body run smoothly. It will also relax you mind and body making it easier to fall in to the deep recuperative sleep we all need.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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