Flexibility is defined as the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. Flexibility is one of those terms that many associates with athletes, gymnasts or dancers. Often people focus on their cardio or endurance health but flexibility is overlooked.
Flexibility is contributed to by a person’s age, genetics, gender, body shape and level of physical activity. As people grow older, they often lose flexibility as a result of inactivity and the aging process itself.
The Difference Between Stretching And Flexibility
- Flexibility refers to the range of motion for a given joint. The degree of flexibility that a person has is influenced by muscles and connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons.
- Stretching is a form of exercise that can result in an increase in flexibility.
4 Important Reasons To Stay Flexible
- Reduce Stress. We all have heard that stress has a negative impact on our bodies, but we aren’t always sure how to release that stress. Spending a few minutes doing simple, relaxing stretches before bed can be a great way to release tension and give your body a little extra love for all its hard work throughout the day. Taking this time to stretch and improve flexibility will reduce the amount of stress you’re carrying in your body, not to mention reducing the instinct to be negative and instead stretch your mind toward a more optimistic outlook.
- Reduce Injuries. When developing strength and flexibility in your body you’ll be able to withstand more physical stress as flexibility allows the body to move properly, reducing the overall chance of being injured. In short, expanding your muscle fibers will increase your flexibility and assist muscles in being more fluid, pliable and less prone to injury.
- Improve Posture. A typical day for so many people includes hours of being hunched over a desk or laptop so it’s no wonder our natural posture has become increasingly curved, slumped, and sore. Simply put, our bodies will adapt to the postures we spend the most time in, over time, causing shortened muscles that can cause more health problems. While we may not immediately recognize the damage our posture is doing, our body sure does. Poor posture can impact a wide range of things from how our blood circulates, produces hormones, all the way to how we feel in our bodies and how we’ll be able to move as we age.
- Better Athletic Performance. Stretching and improving flexibility can improve circulation, muscle flexibility, range of motion, thus, help athletes perform better in workouts and in competition. Stretching leads muscles to lengthen and relax, resulting in the ability to maximize muscle engagement in the next workout. Stretching also boosts the body’s circulation by increasing blood flow throughout the body helping it to heal and restore faster.
It is a fact that those who include flexibility training as part of a balanced fitness program enjoy many benefits. Stretching exercises can help to improve posture, reduce injury, and decrease stress. Who doesn’t want to improve the way their body moves and feels throughout the day?
Xtreme Fitness and Cycling provides friendly, personal attention to its members, helping them stay fit, active and healthy. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, our helpful staff is trained to assist you in effectively reaching your goals. Contact us today!