While an effective fitness program should consist of cardiovascular training, strength building and flexibility exercises, oftentimes, the flexibility component is overlooked. Flexibility exercises are an essential part of recovering from aerobic activity and can reduce your risk for injury. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages individuals to incorporate these exercises into their daily workouts.
According to an expert from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons « increasing your flexibility improves your ability to move easily. Indeed, some joints lose up to 50 percent of motion as we age. There are many ways to improve your joint flexibility including controlled stretches held for 10-30 seconds, stretches that rely on reflexes to produce deeper flexibility, as well as yoga and pilates. »
5 benefits of adding flexibility exercises during your workout
- Less back and joint pain: A 2011 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that regular stretching was effective in relieving chronic back pain. Other research has shown quadriceps stretches helped decrease knee pain.
- Better circulation: A 2009 study in the American Journal of Physiology discovered that torso stretches decreased stiffness and improved blood flow. This also may be why regular bedtime hamstring and calf stretches decrease the frequency and intensity of night-time leg cramps.
- Improved joint motion: Flexibility naturally decreases with age. Stretching can help restore lost joint motion and improve function.
- Better athletic performance: Like a good rubber band, muscles and tendons generate more force under tension when they are supple and compliant.
- Improved muscle health: Mobility exercises can increase the amount of stress muscles can handle in high tension activities that involve jumping and cutting movements.
Get the most out of your flexibility training
- Always warm up before your stretch. Stretching cold muscles can cause injury.
- Stretch slowly and gently. Breathe into your stretch to avoid muscle tension. Relax and hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds.
- Stretching should not hurt. If you feel pain, take the stretch easier, breathe deeply and relax into it.
- Obviously, physical exercise sessions should be related to your abilities. For example, if you practice walking, start slowly then accelerate when warmed up. Do your stretching exercises both in the middle of the walking and at the end to maximize each session.
If your joints are painful after your sport session, applying a soothing gel such as Soulagel will bring an overall relief to the sensitive articular sphere concerned. And to go further, why not try Flex-Tonic®, a patented dietary supplement formulated with type II collagen and silica. Flex-Tonic® is renowned for its effectiveness in soothing joint pain and in enhancing joint mobility. If you prefer phytotherapy, consider , famous for its soothing and anti-inflammatory.