Fit for Life

We love to move and be active, it is an essential part of our lives. We hike the mountains at home around North Scottsdale, and find trails when we travel, visit our many lakes here in Arizona. Henry is an avid Mountain Biker, as well as Roadie and is on sponsored teams competing throughout Arizona. I love to practice and teach Vinyasa Yoga.

Let’s talk about Flexibility.  Why is it so important?

Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. That’s why regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Consider this:
  • Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to falls — and the related injuries — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
Some people are more flexible than others, and NO not everyone has to be able to do the splits, it’s really just about staying in a healthy range of motion with our body as we grow just a little older every day. We can increase our flexibility with certain exercises such as yoga, Pilates, or plain old floor stretching.

Have you seen the body builders on Muscle Beach who only lift heavy weights? They actually are not very flexible. That is because they usually do not stretch very much, but also because their muscles are shorter due to the heavy lifting. This can cause all kinds of injuries such as muscle tearing, lactose build up etc. Yoga, Pilates and functional exercises have the opposite effect; they help elongate the muscles, thus providing more overall flexibility and better core strength. By using our own body to create resistance and energy, we continuously improve and maintain a healthy range of motion in our joints throughout our body. Maintaining flexibility in an elderly person, for example, can mean that if they fall they decrease severe injury, because they are flexible enough to react quicker and brace their fall. Flexibility reduces our risk of injury significantly regardless of age, gender or weight.

We believe that flexibility helps to provide us with a better quality of our daily lives, by increasing relaxation mentally and physically. It helps in reducing muscle tensions (knots) and soreness, and improves our posture.

3 Responses to Fit for Life

  1. Cathy says:

    Hi Jo, do you have any recommendation for an exercise regimen that can be completed ‘sitting down’? I am unable to bear weight d/t chronic ankle injuries (and multiple surgeries). This has led to a vicious cycle of weight gain and increased joint trouble.
    Any suggestions appreciated. Just found your site, will also be exploring a change in my eating habits…first things first!
    Thanks!
    Cathy

  2. mark says:

    wow, wow, and WOW!!!!!

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