Flexibility is an important part of any fitness routine, but one that most people tend to overlook. Many trainers feel that it should be officially re
Flexibility is an important part of any fitness routine, but one that most people tend to overlook. Many trainers feel that it should be officially recognized as the third component of fitness, along with cardiovascular conditions and strength training. It’s important to maintain flexibility to avoid injury, improve blood circulation, and to have a better posture. It can also help prevent diseases like arthritis. Classes like yoga are also used in recovery programmes to help people through substance abuse and addiction. Yoga has a positive effect on the brain and benefits the immune system and central nervous system. Giving the brain the ability to change and learn new things, supporting the recovery process.
Why is it Important to Maintain Your Flexibility?
While some loss of flexibility is a natural result of ageing, most people tend to neglect this part of fitness. Not only do we lose flexibility as we grow older, but our jobs and lifestyles also keep us hunched over a computer or tablet screen for many hours each day. This can have a negative impact on posture, muscle development and overall health. Adding flexibility through stretches makes your muscles longer and stronger. In fact, flexibility is essential to attaining your optimum health.
In order to regain flexibility and range of movement, you don’t need to become a yoga or Pilates expert. A few simple tweaks, such as adding stretches to your daily routine, regular massage, and a healthy diet can all make a real difference.
Exercise – stretches
Adding a few stretches to your daily routine can help you to regain the flexibility that your muscles lose over time. The stretches should work all major muscle groups, including neck, shoulders, arms, back, thighs, calves and ankles. Even if you have just ten minutes while taking a break at your desk, or in the kitchen waiting for a pot to come to the boil, you can do a few stretches that will leave you feeling more limber and comfortable.
If you do your stretches before or after a workout, it helps to know that research shows that dynamic stretches work better before a workout. After your workout, static stretches where you hold each pose for a while (20-25 seconds) can help lengthen muscles. Many people choose to wear compression clothes for better support and injury prevention during workouts.
Massage can help rid your muscles and tissues of knots that end up limiting flexibility and the full range of motion. It can help to flush away wastes and prevent injuries. You can focus on areas like the upper back, calves, quads, IT bands, and lats. It may help to begin with sessions with a massage therapist and then incorporate the techniques into your own routine.
Stress causes your muscles to tighten and bunch up, which will restrict movement. Simple steps to de-stress, like yoga, or a stroll to unwind after the workday, can help your body to relax.
While a balanced diet is important for overall health and wellness, certain types of foods can help to improve flexibility. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and seaweed have high water content and help to remove acids from the body. Adding spirulina and barley grass in the form of juice to your diet can also help improve your flexibility.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people just forget to drink enough water during the day. Staying hydrated help you remain flexible and limber.
It’s easy to improve your flexibility and you will find that your body will thank you for it. In fact, you may find yourself mildly addicted to the feeling of relaxation and strength you get from your daily stretches.