“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes” (Isaiah 54.2 NIV).
2 Myths about Stretching Muscles
If you were to compare your muscles to a rubber band, the more you would stretch them, the more worn out and prone to snapping they would become. It is a myth to think we can stretch and make our muscles longer. So what are we really doing when we “stretch”?
We are aiming to relax our muscles to alleviate muscles tension.
We are showing our nervous system that the greater range of motion is safe.
Myth 1: Stretch Against the Tension
Our muscles resist lengthening to their full size, not because they are short. They resist because they are tense. Muscle tension, tight muscles, body stiffness and headaches are all common symptoms of stress. When we learn to relax, much of our muscle aches and pains would subside. Instead of fighting our contracted muscles by stretching against the tension, we can learn to relax our entire body, and the muscles would become more pliable and lengthen naturally.
Myth 2: Stretching Should be Uncomfortable
There are nerves all over our body, and when we do movements that are muscles are not accustomed to, like touching our toes, our nerves send off warning signals to our nervous system. So our muscles resist the stretch because our body doesn’t think it’s safe. We don’t normally move that far. If we were to make those movements several times a week, our nerves would grow accustomed to the stretch and stop firing off warning signals. Little by little we gain range of motion not because our muscles are longer, but because our nervous system begins to trust the new capacity.
- To learn more about overcoming injury–both physical and emotional– check out Alisa’s article, Creative Exercises Beyond Injury.
When we trust God with our lives, we will learn to relax under His authority. Our mistrust of Him creates tension, causing emotional, spiritual, mental and physical aches and pains in our lives. How do we learn to trust God more? By learning more about Him. The best way to fully know and embrace God’s love through Jesus Christ is to spend time praying and reading His Word. Once we know for ourselves how loving God truly is and how He has our best interest at heart, we will not only relax, but we will enjoy life.
“No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety” (Psalm 16.9 NLT).
God wants to increase our capacity, so we can do more for His Kingdom. At first, when God puts into a new circumstance, we may feel fear and anxiety. Our minds are signaling to us that we are in a new and uncomfortable situation. But if we continue in that same circumstance day after day, what was once scary to us will soon become our new normal. Our range of motion in life will increase little by little as we trust God and overcome our fear with faith. We will grow in our capacity, authority and influence and steadily become accustomed to greater acts of obedience.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” (Luke 16.10 NIV).
- To increase both your faith and fitness, purchase Alisa’s book, Fearlessly Fit and Fearlessly Fit at Home.