Most people tend to associate exercise with losing weight, however, exercising has a lot of other health benefits. It is a good idea to keep your body refreshed and moving by regularly exercising. If your body is stiff, it may cause serious problems for you at a later stage. Keeping your joints flexible will ensure good health conditions and help reduce the chances of an injury.
Even everyday tasks such as tying your shoelaces or getting something out from a high cabinet require your body to be flexible. So, you must do everything possible to make your body less stiff. Here are some useful tips to keep your body moving and become more flexible.
1. Warm-Up Your Muscles
It is important that you warm up your muscles before any sort of exercise. Get your muscles to relax and stretch by doing some warm-up exercises. You could try walking on your heels or toes to make your muscles loosen, then stretch. This is a great way to make your body more flexible and is usually done as a prerequisite to exercise.
2. Try Static Stretches
Another way to make your muscles more flexible is to do static stretches. You’re supposed to hold your body in a single position for half a minute or more, this stretches and relaxes your muscles.
Static stretches are best when done after exercising. This is because while exercising, your body muscles are being constantly stretched, and to get back into their original form, these muscles need to be relaxed in a single position. Static stretches, therefore, act as a post-exercise activity that ensures your muscles are relaxed, hence making them more flexible. However, be sure not to do static stretches before exercising because that can decrease your exercise strength by a lot.
3. Stretch Regularly
Doing stretches is the best way to increase your body’s flexibility and keep it mobile and healthy. There are several different stretching exercises you can try to improve flexibility. You can watch tutorials or join a program to learn the best ones. The folks at GMB Fitness demonstrate some great exercises to help make your body more flexible. Here are 7 of the best stretching exercises you can do to improve your flexibility.
i) Standing Hamstring
Stand with your feet a little apart, and put your hands by your sides. Take a deep breath, exhale and lower your head towards the floor. Keep your shoulders and neck completely relaxed. Then move your hands to the back of your legs and stay in that position for a minute or two.
ii) Piriformis Stretch
Sit down and keep your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg and cross it over your right. Your left hand should be placed behind your body, such that it’s holding your body upright. Twist your torso slowly to the left side, then stretch it back. Do this for 30 seconds and repeat the same process on your right side.
iii) Triceps Stretch
Kneel on the floor while keeping your feet apart and arms raised above your head. Then, try to touch the middle of your back by bending your elbow. Do this a few times, then switch your arm to the right and repeat.
iv) Butterfly Stretch
Sit on the ground keeping your back stretched and knees bent. Make the soles of your feet face each other and hold your ankles to make your feet stick together. Then lower your body towards your feet as much as you can, and hold the position for a minute or two.
v) Seated Shoulder Squeeze
Sit with your knees bent and placed on the ground together. Clasp both your hands behind your back. Make your shoulder blades come together by squeezing them and lean your head forward towards the ground. Stay in this position for a good 30 seconds then release.
vi) Side Bend Stretch
Sit with your legs folded together and raise your right hand over your head, while keeping your left hand on your right knee. Bend your torso towards your right side, and stretch. Keep this position for about thirty seconds then change sides.
vii) Knee to Chest Stretch
Lie straight on your back with both legs extended. Then pull your right knee towards your chest while keeping your other foot straight and stretched. Make sure your back is firmly placed on the ground. Stay in this position for a minute or two.
4. Try Getting a Massage
If you want to make your muscles relax, opt for a body massage. This is a great way to make your stiff muscles relax and become more flexible. Get an expert to massage deeply into the stiff areas of your body and find stress trigger spots. Upon releasing these spots, your muscles will relax instantly making your body more flexible.
Making your muscles more flexible will make your life way easier. You will feel lighter on your feet, and you won’t be putting pressure on your body as well just to do an exercise. If you had trouble working out in your gym before, getting your body flexible will help you out a lot and will definitely let you enjoy exercising more than ever.