There are a number of reasons why flexibility is important to our health. Flexibility allows us to be more effective and have more positive experiences in our everyday life.
Research has shown that flexibility can help to:
- Prevent everyday injuries from occurring – like muscle or joint strains
- Improve your posture
- Improve balance
- Increase strength
- Increase stability
- Increase your range of movements
- Make exercising easier
- Help you to feel more content, calm and confident
- Improve sports performance, e.g. swimmers can benefit from being able to rotate their arms more easily or runners can benefit by being able to take longer strides
- Ease pain – millions of people around the world suffer from some type of pain. The most common type of pain people experience is back pain. Evidence has suggested that people are less likely to participate in activities if they experience pain while doing them. However, research has also shown that although some of these activities may hurt while we’re doing them, they can actually help to ease pain over time.
The best thing about flexibility is that we can all improve it by performing simple exercises and tasks. If you want to improve your flexibility, then here are some of our top tips to help you:
There are lots of stretches and exercises available that can help improve your flexibility. Most of these can be completed from the comfort of your own home, and they don’t take very long to complete. Remember, in order to avoid injury, you will need to warm up before completing any of these exercises. These are some of the most popular exercises or stretches you could try:
The downward dog – this will help stretch your gluteus maximus, hamstrings, triceps, deltoids and quadriceps
The sun salutation – the muscles you will use during this stretch include trapezius, abdominals, spinal extensions, quadriceps and hamstrings
Triangle pose – the muscles you will work by completing this activity include your hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus and medius, internal oblique and latissimus dorsi.
Drink Plenty of Water
Muscles require water in order to work properly. People who don’t consume enough water will likely find that they’re less flexible than those who do. This problem only gets worse as we age. Making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day can help you to overcome this issue and you may even see improvements in your flexibility as a result.
Get Plenty of Rest
While we sleep, our bodies carry out vital activities like repairing torn or damaged muscles. We all need to give our bodies time to rest and repair themselves, which is why sleep is so important. Many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep, particularly if we’re in pain.
There are lots of things we can do to try and get a better night’s sleep. One of the best pieces of advice is to purchase a new mattress. There are lots of types of mattresses available, so it’s important to do some research in order to find one that’s perfect for you. If you’re suffering from back pain, then here’s our analysis of the best mattress for back pain.
Take a Hot Bath
Whether you choose to take a hot bath or jump in a hot tub is up to you. The heat created in this type of environment has been shown to relax stiff muscles and help increase flexibility. If you are fortunate enough to have a hot tub in your home, be sure to seek out hot tub water care advice from professional services, to that you can continue taking hot baths and maintain this part of your daily self-care!
Go for a Professional Massage
Evidence has shown that deep muscle massage can help increase flexibility. If you want to get the best results out of this, it’s advisable to go to a fully qualified and trained massage therapist. Many doctors now refer their patients to these services.
Flexibility is important to our health for a number of reasons. Not only can it help reduce the possibility of injury and pain, but it can also help improve posture, relieve stress, increase joint motion and promotes a good quality of life. These are all brilliant reasons why you should include flexibility in your training regime.