One of the interesting things about the idea of fitness, is that it includes so many different elements, and can mean so many different things to so many different people.
To one person, “fitness” might mean simply having washboard abs and looking lean when bikini season rolls around. For another person, “fitness” may primarily mean having good cardiovascular endurance, or a well-honed set of muscles.
One dimension of fitness which often doesn’t get quite as much attention as the others, however, is flexibility – the kind that you develop through practices like yoga and Pilates, among other things. Whatever your current fitness routine may entail, here are a few good benefits of working on your flexibility as well.
A reduced risk of injury and chronic pain
When you consider the fact that services such as chiropractic care during pregnancy exist, you’ll realise that many people deal with chronic aches and pains, and even ongoing but largely inexplicable injuries, over the course of their everyday lives.
As it turns out, many injuries are directly caused by certain muscle groups being too weak while others are too strong, excess tension on joints caused by bad posture, and other such factors. And even when these things aren’t the direct cause of chronic pain and injury, they are almost always exacerbating factors.
Working on your flexibility helps to loosen up tight muscle groups and enable your body to maintain a healthier and more natural posture and gait, which in turn can significantly reduce your risk of injury and chronic pain as you go about your day-to-day activities.
Feelgood health benefits of stretching itself
Flexibility is undoubtedly good because of the fact that you can move your body more capably and avoid certain causes of strain and injury – but it’s also beneficial because there are some real feelgood benefits associated with stretching, in and of itself.
We all tend to hold tension and frustration in our bodies via tight muscles, defeated posture, and bad breathing habits, among various other things.
Relaxing into a stretch can be very therapeutic in its ability to help us to let go of our mental and physical tensions, allowing us to experience the sensation of dissolving those sources of pain and frustration, gradually.
Greater mobility and athleticism in everyday life
In a surprising number of different areas throughout your everyday life, you are likely to benefit from increased mobility and flexibility.
Whether it means being able to stand on public transport for a longer period of time without becoming exhausted due to tight muscle groups, or whether it means being able to run and play with your children in a more light-hearted way, flexibility tends to help our athleticism and the joy with which we are able to move around our environments, simultaneously.
Regardless of whatever else you are doing in your life or physical exercise routine, or with regards to regular physical activity in general, there is a good chance that taking up an effective stretching routine will improve everything else in some way.