March 2, 2015
Quote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” - Anonymous
Task: Enjoy a yoga class or rent a yoga DVD.
Flexibility is the range of motion of a joint (National Strength and Conditioning Association [NSCA], 2008). It is a very important fitness component that is often overlooked by recreational and elite athletes, as well as beginner exercisers.
Increasing activity levels results in changes in muscular composition, and so it is not rare for recently active individuals to experience tight muscles. Neglecting to stretch out these active muscles can result in many issues including compromised posture, which can lead to pain and compromised body movement in the future.
It is also important to maintain a balance between opposing muscle groups of the body. For example, making sure to stretch out your chest along with your back; and the front of your legs (quadriceps muscles) along with the back of your legs (hamstrings) can help to maintain proper posture.
Participating in stretching activities most days of the week (at least 4) can help the body to maintain its balance and move efficiently.
Stretching can be done everyday if you are looking to gain flexibility rather than just maintain it. This can include stretching all major muscles groups following a workout or participating in yoga or pilates which are aimed at lengthening muscles as you strengthen them.
Yoga has become a popular way to stay in shape while increasing overall flexibility. For stretching, remember to maintain proper body alignment then slowly move into a position where a gentle stretching feeling can be felt. Remember to hold each stretch for 30 seconds, avoid bouncing, and breathe, through the stretch.
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