S - T - R - E - T - C - H ...and say Good Morning to each day!

It's the simplest thing in the world to do - and so few do it. There's a lot we can learn from cats - just look at the way they stretch and do likewise - and you'll find your day just goes better. Now if you suffer from computer addiction like most of us do, stretching should be part of your daily routine. Stretch right and your bones just settle into place and that makes your day so much more comfortable.

Stretching for most people would mean the exercises that sportsmen have to do when they are either warming up or warming down. That's not the kind of stretching we're talking about. This kind of stretching is fun.

The first stretch is when you wake up. Before you roll out of bed, give yourself five minutes and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Stretching should be a lazy, delicious action. Slowly raise your arms, then let the stretch go down to your toes, wiggling each one. Take it nice and easy - there's no rush. This is the foreplay that could well determine if you're going to make love to the day or not! For the angry young ones, imagine that client-who-hasn't-paid-you-for-a-week-and-has knocked-you-off-his-chat-list on a torture rack and you're stretching him to kingdom come.

Stretching your whole body stretches the spine and gets it all set for the day ahead. Once you get into the stretching habit, be a bit adventurous. Wiggle your hips a bit, move your shoulders around as you stretch. Keep one rule in mind - there's no need, absolutely no need to stretch till it hurts. Do cats look like they're in pain? They look more like they're in ecstasy and that's the way it should be.

It's up to each of us to work out our stretching routine. That wonderful wake-up one should be just the start of a glorious stretching day. If, like me, you roll out of bed and switch on your laptop or PC on your way to brush your teeth, you qualify for the term ‘cyber junkie'. The unfortunate thing is, while the virtual world sets us free in so many ways, it also holds us physically captive in front of that screen that is our a window to that world. Can we escape the ensuing physical problems that follow? No! I have young writers who tell me they suffer from chronic backaches and joint pains. Stretching can help alleviate some of the pain. Take a break every half an hour and stretch for a minute - you don't even have to get up though that would be ideal - but you can sit on that chair and stretch away too. Just remember - don't overdo it or you'll end up with a pulled muscle or something. Do a gentle but long stretch.

Cyber rage, virtual venting - this might be directed at faceless, formless people on the internet but unfortunately, the effect it has on our bodies is very real. Would that it were just a cyber backache that disappeared into thin air when you had enough of it. Haven't there been times when you've longed to reach out across that vast virtual space and wring someone's neck? Punctuated with the choicest of swear words? You go to bed ranting and raving and wake up with a stiff neck or a backache.

That's why you need that stretch. To blow away the tightness that anger and frustration bring, to lighten up your body as well as your mind, to stretch out the stress and make you relax. Give your body a bit more get up and go - and follow the K.I.S.S. principle with a twist - Keep It Stretching Stupid!

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solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Shalini, that is a wonderful advice. My grand auntie was performing her stretching every morning and even at 82 she could jump, dance, sing and work very hard at her large garden. She often mentioned a cat as an example of a perfect morning stretching (your pic of that cat is amazing).

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

At 82? Wow!!! I hope we can stretch ourselves to that! Cats are so incredible, aren't they? They eat, sleep, stretch and stay supple!

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Thanks for the reminder! really! i always forget to do this!

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading compu-smart :)

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newcapo 8 years ago

This is so true-- I had to start doing this after I hurt my back....great hub

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks for the comment newcapo - here's to more stretching and less hurting!

Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

Hey Shalini, thanks for reminding me- I need to stretch:-) in this day and age when all of us are so busy sitting around - getting things done (it is the cyberage after all) we have just forgotten that we actually live in bodies that can do with a bit of exercise. A stretch is just what we need to de-stress our poor cramped bodies, rotting away, while spend our day sitting in front of computers and TVs!

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks for your comments Vibha - yes, what screen gazers we are to be sure!

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Shalini- Great hub. Hands stretching out I do but i have to include a whole lot in that routine now..hehe. I also read that in the growing up years if one sleeps a little extra and stretches out more in the morning it may help increase the height. I wish I knew that when I was a teenager then I would not be just 5 3"....LOL

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thank you CW - I'm 5'3" too - well almost - and I do stretch to my full height as I'm the shorty in the family - my husband and daughter are tall!!

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

WOW!! Now this reminds me of my dad who had this reply to me when I once complained about my height that you are so noble(since you ""look up" to people) and others are mean (since they "look down" upon you)...LOL

Isn't my dad such a darling..hehe

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Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Your Dad sounds an absolute poppet :)

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

Aah, I did like the twist in K.I.S.S. Now let me go and stretchhhhh

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

haha Diana! guess I needed reminding too!

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

How could any self respecting cat have missed this one? :P

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

How, indeed!! :D

thehemu profile image

thehemu 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

yes streching do help. Lil bit of streching in morning really works.

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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Yes thehemu - I so agree!

quicksand profile image

quicksand 3 years ago

Hi Shal, I used to do a Yoga exercise called 'Surya Namaskar.' It involves a whole lot of stretching. This particular exercise incorporates several Hatha Yoga poses.

It is actually an all in one exercise and I would recommend it to anybody who has done Hatha Yoga for a period of time and is accustomed to the various 'asanas.'

Wishing all the very best for the coming year! Have a great 2014 ... and Happy Holidays too!

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 3 years ago from India Author

Hi there quicksand - wish you all the very best, too!

Yes, Surya Namaskar is a great stretching exercise - I'm too lazy to do it :) But my daughter does something like 25 a day!

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