Flexibility is something that often comes naturally to us when we are children, yet gradually starts to decline as we enter our 20’s if we are not actively working to maintain it. Feel like you have lost it for good? Not so, it doesn’t matter how inflexible you might be, flexibility is just like any other fitness goal, you need to work on it to improve it.
If you haven’t really considered your flexibility, or any need to improve upon it, then here are 5 reasons why flexibility will enhance your quality of life:
Reduce the risk of injury - keeping your body flexible is an important way to help prevent injury, not only during exercise but in everyday life. I am not just referring to the flexibility of your hamstring and being able to touch your toes, it is important that flexibility is worked on over your whole body including your shoulders, back, hips and legs. If you have a supple and flexible body you are less likely to break bones if you trip over, or have an accident.
Enhance sports performance - Flexibility will help enhance performance in basically every sport you can think of. For example with running sports, it will help with longer strides, with ball sports it will help with wider arm rotations and agility in your legs, with high-jump, rock climbing, and netball you will have improved movement in your torso.
Improve posture - Good posture isn’t just about core strength, it requires supple and flexible muscles too. Improved flexibility helps balance the tension placed on the different joints in your body, helping keep your hips, spine and shoulders aligned.
Improve your ability to sit comfortably - Being able to sit for long periods is important if you have an office job, or have long commutes, and especially if you like to practice meditation. By improving your flexibility you will enhance your comfort when sitting for extended periods.
Keep yourself independent - We all want to remain as independent as possible as we slowly move into our twilight years, and working on your flexibility now is a great way to do that.
A great way to ensure you are making the time to work on your flexibility is through yoga, so consider taking up a yoga class, or practising some yoga at home. If yoga isn’t your thing, then incorporate longer stretch sessions after your workouts, to not only help your body adjust from your workout but also to help lengthen your muscles and increase flexibility and movement.
Remember, just like a muscle needs to be worked to make it strong, you need to stretch your muscles to make them flexible. Don’t be put off by the fact that is might seem challenging when you first start, the more you practice the more flexible you will become!