Can you say with confidence that you have a good Flexibility?
No, I knew the answer already.
Because our lifestyle nowadays has become so sedentary.
Due to lack of exercise the Flexibility of our bodies has become very poor.
You will be surprised to know that Flexibility is one of the most ignored components of fitness.
And it also one of the most important components of fitness.
WHAT IS MEANT BY FLEXIBILITY?
First of all let us understand that what do we really mean by being flexible?
Flexibility has different definitions depending upon the point of reference it is viewed.
In fitness and in relation to the human body, it refers to Range of Motion (ROM).
Movement range at a particular joint is important because It defines joints functional capabilities.
Flexibility plays a major role in human function and ability to attain health through physical activity.
IMPORTANCE OF RANGE OF MOTION
The attainable range of motion at a joint can determine the way the joint functions and performs.
Therefore maintaining an optimal level of flexibility is very important for the human body.
The maintenance of flexibility throughout the lifespan shows a decrease in functional decline of the human body.
And also less independence on others for simple tasks of life.
BENEFITS OF FLEXIBILITY
Increased movement range for the body to promote proper functionality.
Reduction in the rate of functional decline of bodily movements throughout life.
Better Postural symmetry of the body.
Reduces stress from the body.
Flexibility also promotes muscle relaxation and greater mobility of limbs.
Reduced incidence of muscle cramps.
Reduced risk of injury.
Relief of muscle pain.
Improved quality of life.
IMPROVED BLOOD CIRCULATION
Tension in the muscles affects blood circulation, which can prevent nutrients and oxygen from properly moving through the body.
When the muscles are more flexible, they relax and create improved circulation.
The act of stretching also encourages circulation by helping blood move to the muscles and joints.
DISADVANTAGES OF LACKING FLEXIBILITY
A lack of flexibility is indicated in a variety of injuries.
One key factor is the posture of body.
This presents two problems that promote injury.
The first problem is that the alignment change causes movement deviation.
This lack of off flexibility causes serious problems leading to major problems.
Examples of these problems are an anterior shift of the shoulder called upper cross syndrome and pelvic instability called pelvic shift.
These problems can lead to chronic back and shoulder pain.
EFFECT OF FLEXIBILITY ON MENTAL HEALTH
Improved range of motion and participation in flexibility routines have been shown to have a positive effect on stress.
Reduced muscle tension through an improved range of motion reported with improved self stress reduction.
Likewise activities like yoga have shown the effect of the acute stress response.
This further proves the use of flexibility for improved health and well being.
STRETCH FOR SUCCESS
Before stretching, take a few minutes to warm up.
As stretching cold muscles may increase your chances for injury.
Begin with a simple, low-intensity warm-up, such as easy walking while swinging the arms in a wide circle.
Spend at least five to 10 minutes warming up prior to stretching.
The general recommendation for people starting an exercise program.
Perform gentle moving stretches before a workout and static stretches after exercise.
When performing a static stretch:
- Take a deep breath.
- Slowly exhale as you gently stretch the muscle to a point of tension
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Relax and then repeat the stretch two to four more times
- Dynamic stretches are more advanced
- and should be instructed by a qualified
- Avoid these stretching mistakes:
- Don’t bounce a stretch. Holding a stretch is more effective and there is less risk of injury.
- Don’t stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
- Don’t strain or push a muscle too far. If a stretch hurts, ease up.
- Don’t hold your breath during the stretch. Continue to breathe normally.
FITTING FLEXIBILITY INTO A COMPRESSED SCHEDULE
Time constraints keep many people from stretching.
Some complain they just don’t have time to stretch; others hurry out of their fitness classes before the cool-down exercises are completed.
Ideally, at least 30 minutes, three times per week, should be spent on flexibility training.
But even a mere five minutes of stretching at the end of an exercise session is better than nothing to reduce potential muscle soreness.
And all aerobic activity should be followed by at least a few minutes of stretching.
Here are some tips for fitting stretching into an overbooked schedule:
- If you don’t have time to sufficiently warm up before stretching
- Try doing a few stretches immediately after a shower or while soaking in a hot tub.
- The hot water elevates body and muscle temperature
- Enough warm to make them more receptive to stretching.
- Try a few simple stretches before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Wake yourself up with a few full-body stretches by gently pointing the toes and reaching your arms above your head.
- This can clear your mind and help jump-start your morning.
- Take a stretching class such as yoga or tai chi. Scheduling a class will help you to stick with a regular stretching program.