Flexibility – don’t ignore it!
You don’t often hear a lot about flexibility training. It is is one of the most important parts of fitness yet it is so often forgotten about. Quite often flexibility is ignored and comes a distant second to cardio, strength and heavy weights. We should all do a flexibility or stretching program at least two to three times per week.
Here are some reasons as to why flexibility should not be ignored.
It decreases the risk of injury and improves recovery
After the release of a static stretch, local blood flow increases beyond pre-stretching levels. As a result more oxygenated blood equals faster recovery. Stretching helps manage muscle soreness and moves nutrients around the working muscles. This assists in cell recovery.
It improves mental health and quality of life
The benefits of stretching don’t just affect the body. Studies have shown that low intensity Tai-Yoga can improve quality of life. Improvements in quality of life are often linked to a more positive self-esteem. Therefore, it can lead to improvements in mental health.
It improves performance and posture
Being flexible means our joints can smoothly move through their entire range of motion. Activities such as yoga, Tai-Chi and pilates focus on gently moving through these ranges. Consequently our joints become more stable. In addition, it helps with better performances and improved posture.
It helps to manage chronic pain and stiffness
When used alone or combined with thermotherapy (heat packs etc), flexibility exercises have a positive impact on chronic low back pain. Flexibility and stretching aren’t just important for those suffering with chronic pain. Improving muscle length are helpful to those who spend long periods of time in a rigid position. For example desk workers, long distance drivers, etc.
It creates greater awareness of body strengths and imbalances
For most of us it is common to have one stronger and/or more flexible side. Flexibility training therefore helps to make us aware of where these places are in our body.
How can you improve your flexibility?
Holding stretches at a comfortable tension for up to 60 seconds improves muscle length. It’s important to stretch each muscle group in the body. Also, aids such as TheraBands or a towel, can assist. That’s helpful for those of us lacking flexibility to hold the stretch comfortably. Alternatively attend a class, where you may be guided.
Chiro & Sports Med
Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or experiencing injury. Likewise you may suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. Above all we are here to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.