Keeping the body flexible is as important as having the proper diet……
Lack of flexibility is the main cause for most of our body aches and pains; knees, ankles, back, shoulders, feet, etc…As a whole the public has not viewed stretching to be as important as our other exercises, when, in fact, stretching is just as important if not more important!
It’s most important as we try to age, with minimal pain…
The fitness industry as a whole is not focusing on stretching, as it’s focus is to target the larger population, 20 to 50 years of age, as the industry is chasing the profits. The focus is rarely geared towards aging with grace, with little to no pain. The more our cardiovascular system becomes fit, the exercise can decrease our flexibility, which holds especially true for men. Fortunately things are changing as the largest population is now over 50 and they are demanding more and different choices for a balanced health and wellness approach.
Lack of flexibility causes a whole host of problems for our bodies leaving us in a crippled like state of existence as we age, increasing the decline of our overall health. If movement increases our pain, we stop moving or we try to avoid that movement. As this happens, before we know it, we gain weight due to the lack of movement, in turn this increases our lack of flexibility.
If an injury takes place, it’s not unusual the cause is lack of flexibility. After the injury, it’s that much more important to stretch as the therapy for healing. This is the same for those who work in an environment where they are standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time. This also causes more challenges with our bodies as our arteries become restricted for proper blood flow. There are studies happening now, showing proof that clogged arteries can increase over time without stretching. Learn more medical facts about stretching here.
As a fitness instructor for over four decades, I have witnessed 50% or more of my students leaving exercise class before the end, missing the last 10 minutes of the dedicated stretch portion.
All I can say, is DON’T DO IT!
Check out this article in the Chicago Tribune, Stretching Good for your arteries