Flexibility is our ability to flex, extend or move our joints. It denotes our joints’ extended range of motion without loss of strength.
Flexibility is a very commonly used expression. In reality, it is almost a neglected part of our life. More so, because, you would also have sometimes felt that regaining flexibility was difficult. Not really.
All of us tend to get stiffer with age. The reason being: our muscles and tendons have a tendency to get short with lack of use. This is commonly known by another common expression — stiffness.
You can stop the loss! And, here’s how you can pump the magic back into flexibility.
Flexibility can be increased to a great extent as in athletes. You need to be careful though, because stretching can, sometimes, lead to muscle tear and pull.
All you need to do is — be more active in your day-to-day life. Sounds difficult? In which case, you may use some of the techniques described in this article.
However, before you start, you need to bear in mind that you need to get your flexibility parameters back on track — slowly. It just cannot be achieved quickly.
Flexibility is an important aspect of our life. We need to always keep it at its optimal level. It’s always better to increase its capabilities!
One good way of increasing your flexibility is stretching. Remember — the stretching exercises you have seen sportspersons do before every event?
But, here is something you should remember always. Warm-up and stretching are two different things. They are not the same, as maybe the popular opinion.
You need to warm-up before stretching. If you suddenly stretch a cold muscle, you may injure yourself, or tear a muscle, or ligament.
The best thing to do is — perform 5-10 minutes of light cardiovascular exercise to warm-up your muscles. Example: Light walking and arm-pumping. This will help your body get prepared for the workout.
Besides this, a warm-up helps improve your body’s range of motions and prevent soreness. It also helps you to loosen your muscles. In addition, it helps to raise your body temperature and heart rate. This is ideal preparation for the body to do exercise.
It’s also very important for you to stretch slowly and correctly. Incorrect technique may cause harm to your body and the muscles.
Steps to Effective Stretching
- The most effective and safest stretches are gentle and static.
- They are best performed without any straining or bouncing forcefully.
- Always get into a position where you can stretch without getting pain.
- The best thing to do is to slowly move into your extreme range of motion.
- On reaching the level and desired tension, “hold” for a short period of time.
- Avoid hard, jumpy, or quick, movements. This can lead to injuries.
- Relax, and repeat the stretch if you can.
It is not that you should be hard on yourself. A long routine of stretching exercises on a daily basis is also not a prerequisite. It is best for you to go on a regular moderate stretching programme — every other day.
This works in two ways. One, you will be able to do your stretching exercises regularly without devoting too much of time. Two, you will be also regular with it!
Besides, for those who are into weight-training, a regular after-exercise stretching programme is of great help. It reduces the soreness, or sore feeling, from your weighty workout.
Most important. Stretching helps improve your flexibility. It helps you acquire better control of your body and also muscles.
It also helps prevent premature aging, or aging itself!
One finest example of stretching exercise is yoga. Yoga is as much art and science as exercise — it is also an all-encompassing form of physical and mental health and fitness.
Pursue it, and relish its healthy benefits all through life.