Why flexibility is important for your health

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Definition: Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints, the ability to move joints effectively. Flexibility is related to muscle strength, and can be improved with stretching exercises.

Flexibility is one of the first things to go as we enter adulthood and continue to age. Without adequate flexibility, daily activities become more difficult to perform. Maintaining and enhancing one’s flexibility is a life-long process, however, hyper-mobility is not the goal. Extreme flexibility can destabilize joints and actually make ones joints more susceptible to injury.

Here are 7 reasons why working to obtain and maintain flexibility is important for your health.

1. Flexibility improves your posture.

2. There is scientific evidence that the incidence of injury decreases when people include flexibility training in their routines due to their increased ability to move freely through a wider range of motion.

3. Flexibility lengthens your muscles for a longer, leaner look.

4. Flexibility increases the blood supply to muscle tissues, as well as throughout your entire body delivering essential nutrients through your blood stream. It also increases joint synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid that promotes the transportation of nutrients to your joints. This allows for a greater range of motion, less joint pain and a reduced risk of joint degeneration.

5. Flexibility and stretching improve performance in sports and exercise, as well as helping to protect the body from extreme or intense athletic endeavors.

6. One of the most notable benefits of stretching is that it promotes muscular relaxation and because of this, can lessen lower back pain. Since those muscles are commonly contracted throughout the day, whether sitting or doing activities, they can become over-stressed which causes pain. Becoming more flexible in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and other muscles can help reduce that stress on the lower back and reduce the tightening that causes pain.

7. Flexibility training can reduce stress and help to relax your muscles and your mind.

Interested in finding out how to get started? Check out this 9 minute yoga video by Tara Stiles:

For more of my favorite yoga videos find me on Pinterest.

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