Continuing with what makes up mobility, (http://echealthandfitness.com/happiness-starts-movement/) we will be discussing flexibility in this blog. What is flexibility? It’s the ability to bend without breaking. Applying this concept to our fitness and daily life, we can think about it more like not wanting to get into a position and be “stuck”- meaning not being able to get the full range of motion. Range of motion and flexibility are terms that can be used interchangeably. Not only is flexibility the ability to bend without breaking, it is the ability to move a joint or group of joints through their full range of motion effectively. When moving through full range of motion, ideally, we want to be able to move without having to falter or modify through one or part of that motion. Having proper flexibility will allow the joint or joints (the body) to be able to move together as a unit, not move in little chunks here and there.
Being flexible will allow our muscles to be limber enough to support the joint moving through a healthy range of motion. Good flexibility takes the excess strain off the ligaments and allows the muscle to work properly. This enables better activation of the muscles and gives you a better workout for every movement you perform.
It also helps in the recovery process (after a tough workout or even after an injury). Having proper wrist, shoulder, and hip flexibility can help with our fitness. We can also benefit in our daily lives (getting in and out of a vehicle, hip; and reaching overhead shoulder). Fewer injuries will occur with the ability to have full range of motion, but if an injury should occur, if you are flexible, the time you have to take off from the injury can be lessened quite a bit.
Taking time to have small stretching sessions throughout the day will help eliminate stiffness, improve your posture, increase the benefit of working out, and help relieve soreness.
Set a reminder on your calendar to stop and stretch every few hours while at work (or at home) throughout the day. As with all the aspects of mobility, flexibility is something to be worked on often, not only when problems occur. Having a set flexibility routine daily or several times a week can help prevent issues later in life.
Be sure to catch part 3 in this blog series: Stability
Move often, move well !! ~ Coach Mary