Being flexible has many healthful benefits. Flexibility refers to the range of motion in the joints. Over time, these joints will lose their range of motion and become stiff. If steps are taken to keep the flexibility in these joints, the loss of range of motion can be reversed.
Stretching is the number one way to increase flexibility. A stretch can be done at any time and any place. Lengthening of the muscles and flexibility go hand in hand. If the muscles can elongate, the body can follow. Over time, muscles will lose their elasticity and be hard to move. Stretching will help these muscles by moving them to a lengthened state and holding there for a short period of time. Then this position is released and a break is taken. The position is then done again to train the muscles. Stretching will help with flexibility because it increases the range of motion of the joints. Stretching should be done before and after any workout. Before a workout, it will help to get your muscles warmed up and ready to be used. This will also helps prevent injury.
2. Yoga and Pilates
Doing yoga or Pilates is an excellent way to increase flexibility in the body. These have a strong concentration on the body and being in tune with your body. Slow movements and deep breaths help the muscles of the body to relax. Some of these classes are done in heated rooms to help the body relax even more. There are many positions and poses that are done to help lengthen the muscles, and all of the moves are done in steps. You will go to one position and hold it for a certain amount of time, and then release that position and relax. Then you will go back to that position and take it a bit further and hold. This process is repeated as a way to lengthen the muscles. The movements will be done in a slow and fluid fashion as to not put the brain on alert. If the brain senses any sign of tension or injury, it will send a signal to the muscle to tense up and protect itself.
3. Keep Moving
When muscles and joints are not used is when they are will start to lose their flexibility. Do not sit for too long in one position because the muscles will get used to being motionless. Sitting for long periods of time will make the muscles tight, especially the hamstrings, hip flexors and calves. Every hour or so, get up and stretch the legs. Get the blood flowing and shake your body out. Take a walk around and be mobile.
Flexibility will have benefits throughout your entire life. You will have to work at it to make sure you stay that way, but with just a little time each day, staying flexible is not a problem.