31 Day Stretching Challenge – Day 19 (Andrew)

There are many ways that you can injure yourself. Some are obvious: ice on a road when riding your bike; a hole in the paverment to twist your ankle while running. Others are less so. Footballer Kirk Broadfoot certainly didn’t expect to injure himself cooking an egg in a microwave, but, when it exploded, he missed Rangers next match. Food should come with a health warning – especially when you’re stretching.

For the last two nights I’ve only had time to stretch shortly after large meals. I didn’t think anything of it. I know not to swim on a full stomach or to run while stuffed full of biscuits but I didn’t expect it to have any effect on my stretching. I was wrong.

While stretching out was fine – reaching up, extending arms and legs, anything that involved length – as soon as I start to curl, whether doubling over or crunching up – I felt like I was jumping on a bag pipe in my stomach. “OOOHHHHHAAAAHHHHAWGGHHHHH!” I went, just like the lovely sound of a bag pipe. There are certain moves that you can’t do with a full stomach.

I guess this should be obvious. You can’t eat two hot dogs, chips, and a chip butty and a yoghurt (because I’m being healthy!) and expect it to go from plate to stomach and to vanish on the way. My stomach is full of the food I’ve just eaten. It doesn’t disppear in 30 minutes. Digestion takes time.

So, I share this update with a warning that the only thing you should stretch after a large meal is your waistband.

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