Flexibility – Why it is so important
It is a common misconception to associate the word flexibility with Gymnasts or Yogi’s. But to put it very simply, flexibility is the ability for your muscles and joints to move fluidly through their intended full range of motion.
A very big reason why it is so important to maintain flexibility, is that we NEED it to perform normal day-to-day activities. Which of course, would include tasks such as getting out of bed, bending down to tie your shoes, reaching the top shelf of your cupboard or moving into and out of your car.
But the biggest reason, is that it is essential to keeping us healthy and injury free. It actually boosts our athleticism by improving overall performance in running, jumping, throwing, agility and strength.
When we’re flexible, we:
- Maintain mobility and move with ease.
- Decrease the risk of muscle strains, injuries.
- Reduce muscle soreness.
- Improve our balance and posture.
- Increase blood flow to our muscles.
- Enhance athletic performance.
- Reduce back pain.
The aging process causes us to lose elasticity in our muscles and connective tissue. This can make it a lot harder to perform those daily tasks noted above. Worse yet – as we progressively get stiff and tight, we increase our risk of injury.
There are a number of different strategies for increasing your flexibility, here are a couple of simple ones to get you started…
Tips for improving your flexibility:
- Stretching is best done after a short workout 5-10 minutes, or your normal exercise regime.
- Ideally you want to hold a stretch for 30 seconds and do about three repetitions to improve flexibility.
- Don’t bounce, breathe deeply and try to relax
- You should never feel pain
- NEVER QUIT!! Practice, practice, practice is the only way to get better flexibility.
How Physiotherapy can help:
Physiotherapists are trained in a number of techniques including muscle therapy, exercise physiology and neuromuscular rehabilitation. These methods of treatment are highly effective in supporting the healing process as well as alleviating pain. There are also many other supportive techniques to a Physiotherapy treatment plan such as Therapeutic Massage prescription that will also aid in overall muscle health and integrity.