So you have set your goals and are on track toward reaching your ideal shape. You are exercising, eating right and getting rid of old habits.
You could say you are on your way to living a “fit” lifestyle. But what does “fitness” actually entail?
There are three areas of general fitness that anyone at any level should always be looking to improve on. These areas are strength, endurance and flexibility.
Today we are going to focus on the flexibility aspect of fitness and how you can improve this in this area.
But why is flexibility important?
Most of you should already know that stretching is an important part of an overall exercise program. But what does stretching actually do for your body in terms of overall fitness?
Stretching elongates the muscles, improves overall range of motion, helps muscles recover from training, and promotes healthy muscle growth.
When starting a fitness routine, flexibility can often be overlooked for other activities such as jogging, strength training or any other activity that gets your heart rate up. So what can you do to make sure you always include stretching in your routine?
Here are a few things you can consider:
- Active Stretching Warm Up – A simple way to ensure that you are not putting flexibility by the wayside is by incorporating active stretching into your warm up. Active stretching is warming your muscles up through their full range of motion. As opposed to static stretching where you hold one movement for a prolonged period of time, active stretching is moving your muscles continuously through their full range of motion for a number of reps. An easy way to get started is by following along with our active stretching routine on YouTube.
- Join a Class – Another way to be sure you are working on improving your flexibility is to join a class. There are a number of classes out there that incorporate flexibility into the routine including yoga, Pilates and aerobics.
- Morning Wake Up – If you aren’t doing a workout on a certain day or you are taking a rest day, try incorporating some flexibility work in the morning after you wake up. Starting off your day with some active stretching can really go a long way in improving your mood and your general outlook on the daily tasks you have ahead of you.
As mentioned above, flexibility is important because it elongates the muscles, which improves overall range of motion, helps your muscles recover from training, and promotes healthy muscle growth. Each of these benefits is important in and of themselves, but they will also help you prevent injury while striving to reach your fitness goals.
Now that you know why flexibility is important and how to incorporate flexibility into your daily routine, make it a priority to do so. It will help you reach your goals faster by allowing your body to recover from workouts and preventing injury caused by muscle immobility.
Also, be sure to incorporate the other two aspects of fitness, which are strength and endurance as we mentioned above. A great way to do this is by joining our IdealShape Up Challenge. It is completely free and you can get started by clicking on the image below.