Flexibility Feels Good!


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Everyone's level of flexibility differs. Most babies can touch their foot to their heads or tumble over like a rolly-pollie. Then as time goes by, our muscles lose pliancy and range of motion due to changes in skin, connective tissue, and conditions within the joints.

Flexibility is the range of motion through which the limbs are able to move. Flexibility can be improved by stretching. The best time to stretch is after you are warmed up, but before more vigorous effort. Stretching before a workout can reduce tightness and discomfort, and stretching after exercise can reduce or prevent muscle soreness that can occur a day or so after working out.

Low Back Pain
Stretching the hamstrings, groin, and hips can reduce low back pain and risk for injuries. Doing simple toe-touching stretches on the floor for 5 minutes daily can help your lower back immensely.

Stretching Exercises
There are basic muscle stretches for anyone who wants to get through a quick stretch routine to simply cover that base. And then there are variances to these stretches for those who are interested in exploring their range of motion and pushing past their limits.

Yoga
Yoga is a great way to enhance flexibility all over your body and further explore your limits. If you’ve never done yoga before, it may take a few sessions to get used to it. Once you do become more familiar with this type of stretching, you may find that you’ll never again want to go without your yoga practice for more than a few days!

Yoga mixes stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises with deep breathing for a completely invigorating and ultimately mind-calming experience. There are many types of yoga; some focus more on the stretching aspect, while others more on strengthening or balance. You may want to experiment with different classes and teachers in order to find the right combination for your body and tastes. After your body gets used to a regular yoga practice, you may begin to crave it! Trust me. The good news is: yoga workouts are incredibly good for your peace of mind, help you sleep better at night, and help unblock energy and tension in your body.

Benefits of Stretching

  • Reduces tension
  • Higher range of motion
  • May enhance athletic performance
  • Reduces likelihood of acute and chronic injuries
  • Reduces low back pain and stiffness
  • Helps with muscle soreness due to vigorous exercise
  • Helps keep connective tissue elastic (important as we age)

Staying Flexible
Stretching can be easily neglected, but with a little planning or even five extra minutes added to the beginning and end of your workouts, you’ll reap the benefits listed above. If you’d like to find out how good your body can feel and how much you’ll begin to crave stretching, start a regular yoga practice! I bet within a few weeks, you’ll realize that this is exactly what’s been missing from your fitness regimen.



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