However, while we often think of stretching a muscle like stretching a rubber band, muscles are actually comprised of various tissue types, which interact to make a complex material. Rubber is elastic, meaning it resists being stretched and then returns to its original shape. But muscle is viscoelastic. This means that, in addition to those elastic qualities, muscle changes under the stress of being stretched
At the smaller scale, these skeletal muscle fibers are comprised of millions of sarcomeres— the smallest contracting unit of muscle tissue. Sarcomere’s long, fibrous proteins can relax to elongate muscle fibers or they can contract to shorten them— pulling on tendons and protective tissue to create the force propelling our athlete’s body.
Unlike a rubber band, this muscle’s resistance to stretching decreases with each 30 second stretch, allowing our athlete to continually elongate his hamstring. And this improved flexibility likely decreases the chance of incurring certain muscle injuries. But due to muscle’s elastic properties, this effect will be gone in just 10 minutes without further activity.
For skeletal muscles, improved flexibility comes from additional sarcomeres, which allow you to maintain strength at even greater lengths. Sarcomeres are added and subtracted to muscles depending on how frequently they’re used, so improving overall flexibility requires a comprehensive stretching regimen. Plus, you need to stretch often— very often.
talks about friendship recession
There’s also a lot of emphasis on work and careers, what some scholars call ‘workism,’ which is a sense that your identity is so what wrapped up in your work that you don’t have as much energy and time left over for friends.
Today, 15% of young men say that they don’t have a close friend. That was just 3% back in the 1990s. And so, we’re seeing a fivefold increase in the number of men have no close friends. Back in 1990, almost half of young men, 45% said that if they had to turn to someone in a time of trouble, it would be to a close friend. But now that’s dropped to about 22%.
The pandemic has been a sort of stress test for our friendship networks. Interestingly there, we see that it’s women who’ve been most affected: with more than half of women saying they’ve lost touch with at least some of their friends. I think that’s because female friendships are more based on physical relationships on face-to-face time, whereas male friendships tend to be more mediated perhaps through activities or technology. W
A key lesson that we learn is that friendships don’t form themselves. Friendship is not a flower that just blooms all on its own. It’s more like a woodworking project that you have to carve out and continue to work on.
And I think as we get older, there’s sometimes a sense of shame that comes along with not having enough friends and actually saying, “I need a friend,” is maybe one of the hardest sentences that any human being can utter.