How to improve your flexibility
If you find the idea of touching your toes impossible, you may be thinking of ways to increase your flexibility. Flexibility and wide range of motion are important, but often overlooked.
By increasing flexibility, you can achieve various physical benefits. American Movement Council Flexibility training reports that it can increase freedom of movement, improve posture, increase physical and mental relaxation, relieve muscle tension, and reduce the risk of injury.
From stretching at home to more structured workouts like yoga and Pilates classes, there are plenty of ways to increase your flexibility. All you need to get started is a yoga mat, an open mind, and realistic expectations. You may not be able to touch your nose to your toes in a week, but regular practice should give you more flexibility.
How to increase flexibility: where to start
Popular activities for increased flexibility include stretching, yoga, and Pilates. All of this can be done at home, but most practitioners are advised to attend at least one taught class to ensure they are using the correct form. This will help prevent injuries.
If you have a chronic illness or injury, you may need to adjust your exercise routine. If you have any health concerns, talk to your doctor about the most appropriate method of exercise.
How to improve flexibility: Stretch
There are two main types of stretching: static stretching and dynamic stretching (movement-based). A static stretch is a stretch that maintains a position for a short time while standing, sitting, or lying down. Dynamic stretching is a controlled movement that prepares muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues for activity.
Personal trainer Christopher Anderson told Live Science that movement-based stretches are a great warm-up before a workout. “Dynamic stretching helps raise body temperature, improve joint flexibility, increase muscle elasticity, and prepare the body for future activities,” he said.
Many people use static stretching as a “cool-down” after a workout. For a typical fitness program American College of Sports Medicine Most people are advised to do static stretching at least 2-3 days a week. Each stretch should be held for 15-30 seconds and repeated 2-4 times.
Flexibility training should be done after the muscles in the body have been properly warmed up for effective stretching. Don’t miss some ideas on where to start 10 stretches to do daily..
How to increase flexibility: yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise aimed at improving strength and flexibility, usually through a series of movements that involve body posture (asana), breathing exercises, and meditation. american yoga According to a survey, in 2016, approximately 36.7 million people in the United States practiced yoga, up from 20.4 million in 2012. And what are the most common reasons for starting to practice yoga? Flexibility.
The general belief is that you have to be flexible to practice yoga. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. Doing yoga regularly is a great way to increase your flexibility. Yoga and Breathing Teacher Geraldine Joaquin We believe that yoga is good for everyone and that each practice can change your flexibility. She tells the science live: Excessive stretching. “
Results of randomized controlled trials published in Gerontology review The 8-week Hatha yoga class has been shown to be as effective as traditional stretching and strengthening exercises in improving flexibility in middle-aged and older adults. The researchers said, “The soft and changeable nature of virtually all hatha yoga poses promises to be an easy to adopt and maintain, renowned, safe and enjoyable exercise.”
How to increase flexibility: Pilates
Pilates is a series of low-impact repetitive exercises commonly performed on mats to promote flexibility, stability, and strength. It is suitable for all ages and all fitness levels. Many people think that Pilates is about improving core strength, but there are movements that can help improve flexibility from head to toe.
Integrated movements specialist Stacy Week He told Live Science, “Pilates moves the whole body in all aspects of movement and helps ‘unfold’ the body. As a result, people feel taller than the best Pilates classes. “
2018 study published in Exercise rehabilitation diary Participants who practiced Pilates for one hour, three times a week, for eight weeks had improved scores on functional exercise tests measuring balance, stability, mobility, etc., compared to yoga practitioners. and control groups. understood. I don’t exercise at all.
Don’t worry if Pilates three hours a week seems intimidating to you. Pilates expert Beverly densham After working with the instructor to make sure the movements are working properly, he told Live Science that 6 minutes of Pilates each morning before breakfast could be beneficial.
Does your diet affect flexibility?
While there is no direct correlation between diet and improved flexibility, some foods help recovery after exercise and prevent stiffness that can affect flexibility.
Research Biomedicine Journal People who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and oils suggest they may be at low risk for inflammation and chronic disease. Additionally, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids found in some foods appear to have anti-inflammatory properties.
According to a study published in British Journal of Clinical PharmacologyThe fatty acids in fish oil have been shown to reduce the duration of morning joint stiffness and reduce the number of swollen or limp joints. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before making any major dietary changes.