Simple activities to improve flexibility

October 2, 2015

The definition of flexibility is simple: it's the range of motion your body can go through. With age, range of motion naturally decreases.  The following simple flexibility exercises will show you how to increase your range of motion as wide as possible.

Simple activities to improve flexibility

"You have to maintain a certain range of flexibility and mobility," says Mark Davis of the University of Bristol in England, because without that, you start restricting your activities. That creates a vicious cycle in which you engage in less activity, further reducing not only your flexibility and mobility but also your strength and endurance. Before you know it, you're grunting just trying to get out of a chair and saying no to invitations to walk, shop, or visit because it's just too challenging to bother. Unacceptable!

For best health, however, you should do a stretching routine. You can stretch all the major joints with just a few simple stretches. If you hold each stretch for the appropriate 30 seconds, that means in five minutes, you can do a complete body stretching sequence with enormous positive benefits.  Here are some everyday ways you can increase your flexibility.

1. Waking

  • Stand up and slowly reach for the ceiling.
  • Hold for the requisite 20 to 30 seconds.
  • First thing in the morning, when you're in your pajamas, is a perfect time to do a little stretching. In fact, it's perfectly natural. Think of how many animals naturally stretch themselves out after a nap or night's rest.

2. Vacuuming

As you vacuum, you reach forward, then back. You bend to move things and stretch to reach the corner or under the sofa. You think you're cleaning, but you're really stretching! Have a house full of hard-surfaced floors? You can get the same benefits from mopping.

3. Washing windows

The up-and-down motion of washing the windows and the stretching as you stand on your tiptoes to reach the higher parts provide a good flexibility workout.

4. Bowling

Every time you bend and stretch to throw the ball, you're extending muscles beyond their typical range. Take advantage of that by completing a few extra stretches while you wait to see how many pins you've hit.

5. Golf

Reaching down to pick up your ball, swinging your arms, and twisting your body as you move the club head to meet the ball are movements that can help keep you flexible.

These simple activities can help you increase your range of motion.

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