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5 Exercises That Improve Your Flexibility

Guest Post by Melissa.

Is it really possible and safe to get flexible fast? A big YES! But, how do you start? Here are five of the best exercises you should try to improve your flexibility!

As we age, our bones become weaker and prone to breakage. By properly managing durability and bone strength by means of exercise and diet, we can keep our bones stronger for a longer period of time and protect them against potential diseases like osteoporosis.

One way of keeping healthy bones is through flexibility exercises. These will help you boost muscle strength, lessen joint pain, improve balance and maintain bone thickness. When done properly, you can be able to perform physical activity and regular tasks. Tai chi, Pilates, yoga and stretching are just some examples of flexibility activities.
Not able to touch your toes? Suffering from stiff hips or sore back? Learn the best flexibility workouts - all without foregoing size or strength!

1. Walking

Brisk walking proves to be a good exercise to increase flexibility. It is a stress-buster, helps boost heart rate as well as works the lower body muscles. Aside from that, walking is low impact and helps joint health, which makes it perfect for beginners. Take a long step to stretch your hip flexors. And if you want to stretch your calf muscles, it is best to walk uphill. You may vary your walking exercise to take your joints through their complete range of motion, which eventually increases your overall flexibility.

2. Yoga

When it comes to the best exercises for increasing flexibility, yoga is always included in the list. It is an Indian meditation technique that helps reduce and anxiety and stress as well as improves balance. Among the perfect yoga exercises for maximizing flexibility and strength are Bakasana, Uttplutih and Navasana. You can take a class from a community center or local gym. DVDs and online lessons are also a good start to practice yoga.


3. Tai Chi

Tai chi boasts a long list of health benefits that can make the most of at all ages. Researches highlight the rare benefits of tai chi as an effective home exercise alternative to promote well-being and health. It is believed to be a perfect form of exercise for people with chronic pain or any conditions that restrict more dynamic exercise. Often times, it minimizes stiffness and chronic pain. Also, it helps improve coordination, strength and flexibility as well as conditions the body. When practiced on a regular basis, tai chi can improve the quality of your sleep. In spite of aging, this type of exercise can guarantee excellent results, as long as done properly.

4. Resistance Training

Also known as weight training or strength training, resistance training builds the anaerobic endurance, skeletal muscle sizes and strength. It makes use of an external force to encourage contraction of muscles. This eventually results in increased muscle size, tone, endurance and strength. Generally, resistance training is carried out with the use of resistance bands, dumbbells and other resistance equipment. Many have proven that this exercise is great at increasing the mineral density of our bones, which is important in preventing ageing-rated diseases (e.g. osteoporosis, osteopenia) and reduce in bone mass. In order t maintain improvement, it is suggested to vary the resistance training program every 6 to 8 weeks.

5. Body Weight Training

Theoretically, body weight exercises denote to calisthenics. It is a simple, effective and cheap way to boost body strength and enhance flexibility and balance. What makes body weight training more preferred by many is that you don't need a device or extra equipment to carry out this exercise. Even those with busy schedules can perform it during the break. Simply push or pull yourself up with your body weight. As easy as that! Wall sits, stair climbing, chair dips, pushups and lunges are some of the best examples of this form of exercise. Weight-bearing exercises help increase our body's bone fortification to protect our skeletal frame. This is vital for preventing bone loss, falls and fractures.

How much stretching do you need?

Stretching exercises are good to perform three to five times in every session. Stretch in a smooth and slow manner into the position you feel comfortable. For those who are not used to stretching yet, hold the stretch for around ten seconds. You'll find stretching easier if you do it more often.

How about those who are recovering from a stroke or cardiac event?

After a heart attack or suffering from a cardiac event, you may feel scared doing some sort of exercise. Regular physical activity, however, can help minimize the chances of experiencing another heart attack. To ensure your overall health and safety, it is best and necessary to seek the help of a doctor. They will prescribe exercises that will best suit to your body needs.
Doing exercise and physical activity after stroke can improve upper arm strength, walking ability and cardiovascular fitness. So, if you've had a stroke or heart attack, talk with the doctor before conducting an exercise habit to ensure you are following an effective and safe physical activity program.

In order to have a safe stretching, breathe and relax normally. Make it slow and smooth, not vivacious or jumpy. This will cause tightened muscles, which may lead to injuries. When doing a straight position, do not lock your joints, instead, keep them slightly bent.

Having a good flexibility is crucial to avoid injury. Aside from athletes, individuals can also benefit a lot from the flexibility exercises towards a strong, healthy body. Increasing flexibility is not necessarily a hard thing to do, however, patience is highly suggested. You need to keep at it until you achieve your goal. But of course, combining it with hydration, nutrition and lifestyle choices is a much better step.

By doing these easy-to-follow, effective exercises, you are sure to feel the flex benefits your body needs! You can also do these exercises along with your family or friends and together, aim for a healthy body!

References:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00310
https://startsat60.com/health/big-issues/bone-health/five-exercises-to-strengthen-bones-and-ward-off-osteoporosis
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/fitness/news/a29049/best-exercises-for-your-body/

Author's Bio: Melissa is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the Associate Content Director for projectfemale.com, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.

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