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360 Fitness

We all know that there are three components of fitness: cardio, weights, and stretching. While most of us make it a point to get some cardio and to incorporate weights as well, we often tend to forget the importance of physical flexibility.

The Benefits Of Stretching And Flexibility

1. Pain Reduction. Stretching can help you with physical pain, especially back pain.  When your hamstring muscles are tight, they pull your pelvis down and cause back pain.  However, if you stretch your muscles after running, walking, or doing weight exercises, you can reduce this back pain.

2. Posture Improvement. When your muscles are tight, your back isn’t aligned.  By stretching your muscles, you’re restoring them to their normal length and this helps to set your spine correctly.

3. Increased Range Of Motion.  When you have tight muscles, you are denied your full range of motion.  This means that you might find it difficult to stretch your arm upwards and grab something on a higher shelf.  When you don’t have your full range of motion, you’re more susceptible to injuries.  You might reach up to retrieve whatever you’re looking for and, in doing so, you could pull a muscle, since you’re moving beyond your limited range of motion.  Stretching regularly will make sure that you don’t injure yourself in this way.

4. Better Circulation.  One last benefit of stretching is that it improves your circulation.  When your muscles are tight, they constrict your blood vessels and prevent blood from going to all the parts of your body.  Relaxed, flexible muscles aid in circulation, which results in better health overall.

 

Ways To Improve Your Flexibility

1. Stretching While You Workout.  Part of the reason we don’t stretch as much as we should is because we leave it until the end of the workout, when we’re already pretty tired.  It’s not necessary to leave stretching until the end.  You can also stretch in between your cardio workout and after each and every weight exercise.

2. YogaThere are certain types of stretching exercises, such as yoga, which combine resistance training with stretches.  Plus, yoga also results in mental calm, thinking better and feeling good.  It has mental and physical benefits.

3. Iyengar And Vinyasa Yoga.  There are many different types of yoga for you to choose from.  Iyengar yoga is more stationary.  You get into the yoga pose and you hold it for a while.  However, some people find this irritating, because they like to keep moving constantly.  In that case, you can go with Vinyasa yoga, which has more movement.

4. Bikram Yoga.  Also known as hot yoga, this is performed in a hot room, which results in a lot of sweating.  If you’re the kind of person who likes to sweat while exercising, this type of yoga is right for you.  The exercises are also quite hard and result in burning many calories.

To experience many of the benefits of stretching and flexibility, take our stretch and recover class, which consists of yoga stretches infused into a holistic workout program.  Contact us at our gym in Tyler, TX, to learn more about the benefits of stretching.

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