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 fitness elements.
By increasing flexibility, you can get 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 such as yoga and Pilates classes, there are many 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 within 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 practiced at home, but most practitioners are advised to attend at least one taught class to make sure they are using the correct form. This will help prevent injuries.
If you have a chronic condition or injury, you may need to adjust your exercise routine. If you have any health concerns, talk to your doctor about the most appropriate exercise method.
How to improve flexibility: Stretch
There are two main types of stretches: static stretches and dynamic (movement-based) stretches. A static stretch is a stretch that holds one position for a short time while standing, sitting, or lying down. Dynamic stretching is a controlled movement that prepares for the activity of muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues.
Personal trainer Christopher Anderson told Live Science that movement-based stretching is a great warm-up before a workout. “Dynamic stretching helps increase 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 performed after the body muscles have been properly warmed 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.according to American yoga According to a survey, as of 2016, about 36.7 million people in the United States are practicing yoga, up from 20.4 million in 2012. And what are the most common reasons to start practicing yoga? Flexibility.
The general belief is that you must be flexible in order to practice yoga. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Doing yoga on a regular basis is a great way to increase your flexibility.Yoga and breathing teacher Geraldine Joaquin We believe that yoga is good for everyone, and each practice can change your flexibility. She tells live science: Excessive stretching. “
Results of randomized controlled trials published in Gerontology journal Hatha yoga’s 8-week course has been shown to be as effective as traditional stretching and strengthening exercises in improving the flexibility of middle-aged and older adults. The researchers said: “The gentle and modifiable nature of virtually all hatha yoga poses promises to be an easy-to-adopt and maintain, reputable, safe and enjoyable exercise.”
How to increase flexibility: Pilates
Pilates is a series of repetitive, low-impact exercises commonly performed on mats to promote flexibility, stability, and strength. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Many people think Pilates is about improving core strength, but there are moves that can help improve head-to-toe flexibility.
Integrated Movement Specialist Stacy Week He told Live Science: “Pilates moves the whole body in all aspects of movement and helps to” unkink “the body. As a result, people feel that they are taller than the best Pilates classes. “
2018 study published in Exercise Rehabilitation Journal Participants who practiced Pilates for one hour, three times a week, for eight weeks had improved scores on functional exercise tests that measured 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, sounds daunting.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?
Although there is no direct correlation between diet and improved flexibility, certain foods help recovery after exercise and avoid stiffness that can affect flexibility.
Research Journal of Biomedicines People who eat a Mediterranean diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and healthy oils suggest that they may be at low risk for inflammation and chronic illness. In addition, the 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 PharmacologyFatty acids in fish oil have been shown to reduce the duration of morning joint stiffness and reduce the number of swollen or soft joints. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before making major dietary changes.
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