Be Flexible and do Stretching
Flexibility and Stretching
Flexibility can be defined as the range of motion possible around a joint (articulation) or a range of joints, and is considered to be by many specialists one of the most neglected areas of fitness. The ability to function correctly and engage in all our activities of daily living is dependent on our ability to move safely and correctly through all the different planes of motion.
Consider this for an example. A tight inelastic calf muscle may prevent a person from fully dorsi - flexing the foot, leading to a restriction in their ability to move the toes upwards. This in turn leads to the feeling of discomfort or even pain as a person walks.
This tightness within the calf muscle will also restrict the knee’s ability to extend, resulting in a shortened stride pattern. Simple I know, but flexibility is going to become more and more important as you get older.
I am 50 and like many, neglected to stretch when I was a younger man and it eventually caused a few injuries that I am still plagued by today. So it is important to consider the benefit associated with stretching.
It can be used to prepare a person for exercise ( which I will discourage right now and explain later) and more importantly, return the muscle to its normal length and increase flexibility and the wider range of motion.
It is important to select the appropriate stretches according to the component and target individuals fitness and skill level, as well as a determining the type of stretch, timing, position and order to be safe and effective.
Flexibility is a vital component of fitness, ignore it at your own peril folks. Believe me...I t is well worth the 5 minutes of so at the appropriate time of your exercise routine to become flexible. It will pay off in dividends as your fitness increases and progresses.
Some of the BENEFITS associated with stretching are:
- Increase a person’s mental and physical relaxation
- Improves muscle memory and many other types of muscle movement
- Improves body awareness
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Reduces the effects of DOMS (the sore feeling after a fab workout) Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Reduces muscle tension
- Improves physical performance
- Improves posture
- Reduces the risk of developing low back pain
- Increases the blood and nutrients to tissues
- Improves muscle coordination
- Enhances enjoyment of physical activities.
Wow! That’s a pretty big list! Any list of benefits that is that long is worth taking on board and immediately put into action on any new or existing exercise program.
There are different methods to stretching.
Let me give you the short list.
Proprioceptive neuro-muscular facilitation (PNF)
For all intents and purposes...
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To Avoid injury and to stay as flexible as possible, always remember to leave time to do stretching!
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