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Fitness Friday: Stretch it Out

THE POURPOSE AND BENEFITS OF FLEXIBILITY:

Flexibility means being able to move your joints and muscles through their full range of motion.

As you become more flexible, you will find it easier to reach things on high shelves, to look under a bed, or perhaps to tie your shoes. You will also have a better sense of balance and coordination.

Over time, we create body movements and posture habits that can lead to reduced mobility of joints and compromised body positions. Staying active and stretching regularly help prevent this loss of mobility, which ensures independence as we age. Being flexible significantly reduces the chance of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain.

BENEFITS OF FLEXIBILITY TRAINING:

– Reduces stress in the exercising muscles and releases tension developed during the workout.

-Assists with posture by balancing the tension placed across the joint by the muscles that cross it. Proper posture minimizes stress and maximizes the strength of all joint movements.

– Reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because muscles are more pliable.

– Improves performance of everyday activities as well as performance in exercise and sport.

HOW TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY:

To stay flexible, stretch all your major groups of muscles. These include the muscles of your arms, your back, your hips, the front and back of your thighs, and your calves.

-Warm up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes before you stretch them by doing aerobic activity such as walking or jogging. This will help increase blood flow to your working muscles.   – Try to hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

– Add stretches to your day. Do some stretches first thing in the morning, take a stretch break instead of a coffee break, or stretch in the office for a few minutes.

-Get involved in activities that include stretching, such as dance, martial arts tai chi, or yoga

Remember to never push your body beyond its limits. Any stretch that hurts, means you’re pushing too far.

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