fitness, health

Flexibility Stretching for Health Longevity

Flexibility stretching holds the key to health longevity.

When you were young, you might have been very athletic and sportive. However, as you continue to age, you may have become less active physically: instead of participating in sports, you may have become only a spectator. Your sedentary lifestyle only reinforces your lethargy and sluggishness in everyday life. Even if you are busily engaged in running errands for your family, you are exercising only certain muscle groups of your body. What you need is flexibility stretching for health longevity.

Why is flexibility stretching so important to health longevity?

Flexibility fitness improves your posture. Poor posture leads to aches and pain. More importantly, poor posture may affect correct breathing, and the importance of correct breathing cannot be overstressed. You need to breathe right to get sufficient oxygen and nutrients to various parts of your body. Poor posture, due to muscle stiffness and muscle tension, contributes to incomplete or shallow breathing – which is not correct breathing. It is interesting to know that rodents, one of the fastest-breathing animals, have the shortest lifespan, while tortoises, with the slowest breathing, live the longest in the animal kingdom. Flexibility fitness has to do with correct posture, which is fundamental to correct breathing.

Flexibility fitness is doing flexibility exercises to enhance fitness. Many people, who do regular exercise, tend to focus on fitness, strength, and endurance. But flexibility stretching is the essence of fitness, because it not only reduces muscular tension but also improves overall physical performance.

Flexibility stretching enhances the quality of the protective lubricant for optimum joint movement, the decline of which is the major cause of arthritic conditions. Also, increased lumbar and pelvic movements reduce the risk of lower back pain.

Flexibility exercises, through stretching, improve neuromuscular coordination, that is, the reduction of time taken for messages to go from the brain to the muscles.

Flexibility stretching helps to avoid injuries and falls due to stiff or tight muscle fibers. As a result of flexibility stretching, the range of movement (ROM) significantly improves general physical movement and increases blood supply, thereby instrumental in facilitating joint mobility to avoid accidents and falls, especially among the elderly.

Physical activity, through flexibility exercises, extends longevity. In fact, flexibility stretching is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill. Unfortunately, inflexibility causes falls, and the fear of falls further immobilizes the elderly, and thus forming a vicious cycle of immobilizing the aged. Falling is the second leading cause of death in women aged between aged 65 and 85, and the leading cause of death for most individuals over 85.

There are two types of flexibility stretching: “static” flexibility stretching involves stretching a muscle for a certain length of time; and “dynamic” flexibility stretching focuses on slow or fast movements into stretched positions. The former is especially ideal for health flexibility for muscles and joints; while the latter, using multiple muscles and joints combined with neuromuscular coordination, is suitable for building coordination and strength.

Flexibility stretching is health flexibility for health longevity. If you wish to live longer with quality living, it is paramount that you do flexibility stretching everyday.