Mobility plays a huge role in your day to day life
Focused effort toward your breath work, stretching and strengthening can significantly improve how flexible you feel. If you currently struggle to bend over to touch your toes when standing, you should consider ways of increasing your flexibility as this impacts your everyday life. For example, if you need to reach up high into the top cupboard or bend down to pick something up off the floor, if your muscles are inelastic these tasks will feel much more difficult.
Additionally, if you are looking to become more regularly active it is important to incorporate these activities into your routine in order to release muscle tension and soreness. This will help avoid those achy pains post-workout so that your body is more prepared for the next workout session.
Build a routine that suits you
A combination of stretching and breath work for a minimum of 10 minutes, a few times a week can make a big difference to your overall flexibility.
You might wish to include stretching as part of your morning or bedtime routine. Alternatively, if you already have a workout routine in place, here are some suggestions to incorporate in your next session:
- Breath work: Otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing, engages and strengthens your diaphragm and core muscles. If your diaphragm and core aren’t strong, stretching and strength training will be more difficult.
- Dynamic stretching: It is best to do these movements at the beginning of your workout as this moves the muscles through a specific range-of-motion when they are done. You have one body part that moves on a hinge in one direction to perform the action, this will help warm-up your muscles before you begin exercising.
- Static stretching: It is best to do these movements at the end of your workout as this involves moving a joint as far as it can go and holding it for a length of time, typically 30 to 90 seconds. This helps relieve tension in your muscles and can be seen as a great way to cool-down post exercising.
Listen to your body
With any form of exercise, it is important to always listen to your body. Especially with stretching it is vital to practice these actions safely. If you feel any significant discomfort or pain, you should stop immediately as you could risk a muscle strain or tear.
There are plenty of benefits associated with good flexibility – the most important being your quality of life. With consistent practice, you’ll ease into your flexibility, one stretch at a time!
This Healthy Living article was developed by PepsiCo in partnership with the Saudi SFA