Exercises that increase cardiovascular endurance as well as those that increase strength and lean muscle tissue are only two very important things to keep up with. A third important element of overall health is flexibility. As we age we tend to lose flexibility. One contributing factor to the loss of flexibility is inactivity; therefore, we can help prevent it. Some of the benefits to increased flexibility are as follows:

  • An increase in freedom of movement
  • Better posture
  • An increase in mental health/relaxation
  • Release in muscle tension and soreness
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • An increase in physical relaxation

Always make sure to warm up your muscles before stretching. Failure to do this may increase your risk of injury instead of helping it. While stretching, make sure you do not overstretch the muscle. In other words, if it hurts, then do not stretch that far. Also, make sure to continue breathing normally. Make sure to hold the stretch (do not bounce) for maximal effectiveness.

For extra information regarding the importance of stretching and increased flexibility visit https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6646/flexibility-benefits

By Sarah Callahan