Flexibility is an essential part of a happy, healthy lifestyle, both in everyday life and in your fitness routine. Many people only utilize resistance and cardiovascular training in their workouts, thinking these are the only two primary elements in a fitness program. However, flexibility is just as important!
Flexibility has many great benefits including enhanced sports performance, improved posture, decreased stress, and increased range of motion. Prioritizing flexibility in your fitness routine is essential for a holistic training program that will build the body up without breaking it down. Many people incorporate activities such as a yoga class, 10-15 minute cool-down after a workout, or even an appointment with companies like StretchLab to check off flexibility in their fitness routine. Stretching improves energy because the muscles are being used properly and not compensating for misalignment — efficiency at its best!
To get a deeper understanding of how flexibility can improve your overall well being and fitness routine, check out these details:
Enhanced Sports Performance:
- Flexibility decreases the risk for injury
- Improves recovery time and reduces muscle soreness
- Increases balance and coordination
- Flexibility decreases abnormal wearing of the joints
- Decreases stress on ligaments
- Prevents lower back pain
- Flexibility promotes relaxation
- Improves blood and oxygen flow which helps ease the mind
- Improved mental health
Increased Range of Motion
- Flexibility makes everyday tasks easier
- Reduces joint and muscle pain
- Enhanced overall performance
Stretching is a critical part of a well-rounded fitness routine and incorporating yoga into your workout is the perfect way to increase flexibility. It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of flexibility training or stretching three times per week. If this seems like too much, begin with a short 5 minutes after current workouts. You may be surprised at how a little goes a long way. The benefits are well worth the time spent and enhance the overall quality of life!
You can increase flexibility with yoga by consistently committing to going to class. There’s tons of classes that offer yoga for flexibility and strength, which can fit perfectly in your workout routine. Starting your yoga practice can bring so much more than just flexibility, like a sense of belonging within a community, new friends, and centering the mind and body.
About the Author
Courtney Paige Johnson is a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer living in Phoenix, AZ. She has been teaching fitness classes for over eight years and has several certifications including yoga, Pilates, and strength training. In 2017, Courtney completed her M.S. from Arizona State University in Community Resources and Development where she researched exercise motivation in the wellness tourism industry.