I was recently describing my ‘Mirlates’ class to a potential client, and told her how I interweave flexibility training throughout the class. She said “Why is flexibility important?” I was surprised by the questions and, well, I… just thought it was obvious. And then when I tried to put it into words, I found that I couldn’t.
So I’ve caught back up with me, and I’m here to tell you why flexibility is indeed important. Here are a few benefits of increasing flexibility through stretching:
Helps to prevent injury
Promotes body awareness
Stimulates blood flow
Mentally relaxing and centering
I think this is all understated. A few years ago there was controversy that stretching actually caused injury. Well, yes, too much of a good thing can throw off your balance. There needs to be integrity between strength and flexibility. If your muscles are super strong but you have limited flexibility, you movement is severely limited and you are more likely to break your bones. Another drawback of tight muscles is that they can literally pull your bones off center and cause all sorts of structural problems for you. Even if you aren’t super strong, but have no flexibility, you have an increased chance of breaking your bones as you age. On the other hand, if you are super flexible but don’t have strength to support your bones, you will most likely develop joint problems and pain. That’s no fun either. The best way to enjoy a high quality of life is to have a balance of strength and flexibility. Then you are able to move powerfully, but also easefully. There’s nothing better than this feeling of being able to move the way you want to. You may just impress yourself. Very empowering.
The ideal way to achieve this is to warm up the muscles with a 5-10 minute warm up on a cardiovascular machine or just walking outside will do the trick. Then, once the muscles have blood flowing through them the next step is stretching. The reason for this is because trying to stretch cold muscles is the same as trying to stretch a cold rubber band. What happens? The rubber band snaps. So warm up first. Your strength workout comes after the stretching. With time limitations this will cover your bases, but if you want to be a super over achiever, you can add more stretching in at the end of your workout followed by a cool down.
I have tons of stretches in my toolbox for you, so shoot me a body part and I will shoot you back a stretch for it.
Enjoy your Super Powerful Easeful Self!
Your Wellness Coach,