Flexibility is the ability of your joints and body parts to execute their full range of motion. Flexibility is required in all your day-to-day activities such as bending, walking, lifting, etc. Being flexible allows your muscles to remain moble. But, like most things, flexibility decreases with age and it is very important to include flexibility exercises in your daily workout regimen. Without flexibility, you are more prone to injury as your body begins to compensate for your body not being able to perform exercises to the joints’ full range of motion.
Loss of flexibility can lead to permanent changes in posture and normal muscle function. It is therefore imperative to maintain muscle flexibility as an important component of overall fitness.
If you find that you feel stiff, lacking in flexibility, suffering from bad posture or would like to increase your flexibility to improve your normal exercise routine, flexibility training is a must. Stretching exercises can help to achieve greater flexibility.
Being flexible helps to reduce soreness of muscles and improve posture. Stretching also improves muscular balance and posture by realigning tissue and thereby reducing the effort it takes to maintain good posture throughout the day. It helps decrease risk of injury and improve physical performance. Flexible joints require less energy to move through a greater range of motion. This decreases your overall risk of injury and increases physical performance as well. Stretching works towards decreasing resistance in muscle tissue during any activity and it helps increase blood and nutrients to tissues. By stretching, you increase the temperature of your tissues and this increases transportation of nutrients and overall circulation. This in turn increases the range of motion and reduces degeneration of your joints. It can also help reduce lower back pain. Stretching helps relax muscles. The more flexible your pelvic muscles, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps, the less stress will go to your lower back. In addition to decreasing soreness and fatigue of your muscles, stretching also helps relax both mind and body during any activity or exercise.
The best way to maintain flexibility is to stretch regularly. Whatever your age, you must incorporate stretching at least once a day.
Flexibility exercises should also be incorporated into your normal exercise program, which may involve resistance (strength) training and cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.). By doing so, you can improve both the quantity and quality of your muscles, joints and overall health.