It turns out that when it comes to keeping your body fit, flexibility is every bit as important as cardiovascular conditioning and strength training. It also plays a big part in preventing injuries, back pain, and arthritis. If you struggle with tight muscles, restricted physical movements, or feeling stiff, then you probably need to work on your flexibility. Try the below tips to help you ease your muscles and become more flexible.
- Start all of your exercise programs by warming up first to keep your joints and muscles well lubricated. Try doing some bodyweight movements such as jumping jacks, lunges, and squats to get a light sweat going before you begin your workout.
- Join a yoga or Pilates class and attend regularly:both of these practices place a lot of emphasis on litheness and if you go often you will see quick results. Hold a few yoga poses like Warrior and Downward-Facing Dog for 10 breaths throughout your day to increase your flexibility.
- Practice isometric/static stretching exercises as part of your cool down after your workout or right before you go to bed. Focus on your hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back, and arms. Hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds to become limber and loose.
- Mind your diet, increase your calcium, and drink plenty of water to get your body into balance. While nutrition alone won’t make you more flexible, losing any excess weight you might have will help you get into certain stretches you might not otherwise achieve.
- Incorporate stretching into your daily meditation breaks by sitting in lotus pose and practicing deep breathing at the same time. Stretching while meditating is a wonderful way to incorporate brief moments of relaxation into your day.
- If you have an office job, try swamping out your desk chair for an exercise ball to increase flexibility by keeping your muscles engaged, alleviating lower back pressure, and strengthening your balance all at the same time.
- Try sleeping on your back to help keep you spine, head, and neck in a neutral position throughout the night and be mindful of your posture during the day.