the quality of bending easily without breaking
Flexibility is also described as the ability to move through a complete range of motion or the elongation of soft tissues to increase joint range of motion. In short, flexibility helps you move your body with ease. Pretty important part of everyday life, right? But you will be surprised. Flexibility training is the most neglected part of the health and fitness components. All too often folks skip the stretching part at the end of a workout in favor of getting out and on with their day. Often people convince themselves that stretching has no real benefits. Then, the day will come when tying shoes becomes a production. Those feet are to darn far away from the hands and our body won’t bend like that anymore. Raising the arms overhead to put up dishes is no longer possible without a step stool and picking something up from the floor is a chore. Now what? Well, first we take a look at the individual and underlying factors that can contribute to a lack of flexibility:
- Muscle Fatigue- Over exercised muscles
- Scar tissue- injuries or Surgeries
- Muscle temperature- Are you hot or cold
- Activity prior to stretching- morning vs. evening, pre vs post workout
- Collage/elastin contend- varies with age
- Hydration/dehydration- proper water intake
- Medical conditions- diabetes, smoking, connective tissue disorders
Now we have to look at the level of daily activity. If one has a sedentary lifestyle chances are that they feel stiff and sluggish. On the other hand having over developed muscles can also effect flexibility.
How can we improve though? Good news, studies showed that it is never too late to start. You have to begin with a warm up. Anything that gets your heartrate up- no, not coffee, physical exercise for at least 10 minutes. Then we Stretch! 5-30 seconds holds per stretch will lead the average individual to improving their range of motion. Thirty second holds yielded the greatest improvement when done daily. Seniors see the most improvement when they hold stretches for 60 sec every day. No bouncing please and only go as far as a mild pull. Also, in the morning we feel stiffer then in the afternoon. Accept how your body is at the moment and be compassionate with yourself. This is suppose to be good for you and not stressful. Don’t get overwhelmed, a little bit of stretching is better than no stretching at all. Join our online classes and we can introduce you to some effective and safe flexibility exercises to keep your body moving smoothly.