Importance of flexibility

By Lauren Zedlar

Elm Staff Writer

Flexibility is a quality that can help improve daily life of individuals and athletes alike. 

According to Harvard Heath Publishing, training to be flexible helps strengthen muscles and adds stability to joints. It also provides many lasting physical and health benefits to improve overall quality of life.

Stretching exercises can improve the range of motion in joints making sitting or standing for longer periods of time easier.

“A well-stretched muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion,” experts at Harvard said.  

According to Heathline, this brings “stability to our body and helps withstand physical stress making people less prone to injury.”

Along with preventing injury, it will also decrease the amount of aches and cramps people feel throughout the day. 

According to Healthline, being flexible can help lessen pain during daily routines. It does this by bringing balance to muscles; it strengthens underactive muscles and stretches overactive or “tight” muscles. 

Being flexible has also proven to bring a more positive mindset, according to Healthline. Engaging in certain poses and exercise, can naturally relax the mind along with our muscles. 

Along with increasing the benefits in daily life, being flexible has beneficial effects while working out. 

Flexibility helps strengthen muscles so they have the proper amount of tension. This allows athletes to push themselves harder and not feel as restricted by the tightness in their bodies. 

This gives student-athletes the opportunity to push themselves harder in the weight room and at practice. 

According to Fitness 19, a fitness organization based out of Baltimore, Md., “stretching helps alleviate the stress found on our muscles overtime.”

As people and athletes continue to exhort their muscles, they naturally shorten over time. 

To counteract this, it is recommended to stretch out muscles and improve joint mobility. If these acts do not take place, it could cause more pain and muscular imbalance which then leads to further problems. 

According to National Academy of Sports Medicine’s “Essentials of Personal Fitness Training” textbook, some of these issues include “altered joint function, synergistic dominance — an occurrence of improper muscle activation by the body — and altered reciprocal inhibition — a concept in which a tight agonist muscle inhibits the neural drive to its functional antagonist.”

Some people are born flexible, but it is also an ability that can be developed. You can find proper training by signing up for classes at a local gym or by starting a stretching routine at home. 

The Metro News team recommends stretching and executing movements in the morning to start off your day correctly. Other tips include having a warm shower before starting to stretch or being in a warmer environment. 

Metro News also recommends doing this type of exercise in shorter sessions throughout the week to gain full benefits and massage or roll out after exercising. This gives your muscles more of a stretch by massaging the deeper tissue. 

Being flexible is extremely beneficial for all kinds of people and is an easy way to improve your life. 

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