By FitnessHealthZone.com, Pictures Added by Frugal Fitness
The words that are often bandied about in fitness circles are strength, endurance, speed, stamina, muscularity, aerobic ability, etc. The quality that is also now getting its due importance is flexibility. Flexibility is not just for gymnasts, it is something that we can all benefit from and for a number of different reasons-
-Flexibility increases the range of motion of the body’s joints, so that one can exercise better and more completely.
· - Flexibility can help to reduce stiffness and aches and pains in the body. As flexibility increases a person may find that lower back pain and similar problems reduce.
· - It increases suppleness of the body.
· -The risk of injury is reduced when the limbs are able to move easily and to the extent of the optimal range of motion.
· - Flexibility can be of particular importance in later years since it keeps a person more physically able and independent.
- Flexibility also improves body balance which is important for everyone to decrease the chances of falls and other injuries; but can be doubly important for seniors.
- It is important to include the element of flexibility in one’s fitness routine since this not only gives a more effective work out, it can also help to counter the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle that requires a person to sit at a table or desk for long periods of time.
-For sports people such as gymnasts, athletes and those that play team sport or endurance sport, flexibility has obvious importance – it can help perform better and increases range of motion even helping to increase strength directly or indirectly.
So what can be done to increase flexibility?
· Stretching exercises should be incorporated into any fitness exercise routine. This is important not just as a warm up or a prelude to your exercises but also in order to increase range of motion and loosen joints and muscles so that they don’t get strained and stressed from the exercise.
Remember to breathe properly while stretching, to get the most out of the movement. Also the stretch should be enough to feel the stretch but should fall short of straining or tearing the muscle. As stretching is done consistently, one may find that what was difficult or impossible to do earlier has now become possible, with improved flexibility.
· Disciplines such as Yoga, and Tai chi can help a person improve flexibility. The various asanas of yoga require that the body is manipulated into different shapes and positions which will naturally increase flexibility.
Progress made in yoga, graduating to the more difficult asanas or positions is usually accompanied greater flexibility and balance. Similarly Tai Chi as well can increase flexibility. Since these disciplines do not require very great amounts of exertion and are low impact they are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
· Pilates is another fitness exercise that increases mind body awareness as well as flexibility.
Being mindful of and improving one's posture can also help.
Guest Author Bio:
This is a guest post by FitnessHealthZone.com, a premier blog on health and fitness. The blog offers expert advice, tips and information on topics such as mens fitness, exercises, diet and nutrition, body building, exercise equipment, healthy living, yoga, vitamins & supplements.