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The Benefits of Flexibility Training

    As many of you already know, I'm a huge advocate of stretching in our continuing efforts to retain our elasticity and flexibility.  What I'd like to highlight here in this blog are some of the benefits realized from flexibility training.  In blogs to come I'll also discuss additional rules for stretching, provide examples of how stretching can lead to improved performance, and review additional stretching instructions.  Should any of you have any questions, please reach out to me directly or post your questions here so that the forum readers can follow along as well.

Benefits of Flexibility Training  

  • May decrease instances of lower-back pain: It is estimated that 80% of the adult population has suffered from, or is currently suffering from lower-back pain.  A lack of flexibility or range-of-motion in the hips and lower back may be a prognostic indicator of low back pain.  Most often rehabilitation for low back pain includes a stretching program to address any such issues.
  • Decreases chances of age related losses in flexibility: Studies show an age-related loss in flexibility which could lead to injury and/or loss of function as we age.
  • Stretching burns calories: Stretching may not be as effective as cardio, or even resistance training at melting away that fat but all the calories you burn up add up at the end of the day.  You can increase your flexibility and burn calories, while watching your favorite TV program.
  • Increases blood flow to muscles stretched: Stretching may be useful in reducing cramping associated with ischemia (insufficient blood flow to a muscle).
  • Move better: A comprehensive flexibility program may decrease restrictions caused by muscular tightness.  This will make movement easier and improve the efficiency of your muscular system.
  • Decrease post exercise soreness: Stretching and yoga have been shown to decrease the occurrence of post exercise soreness.
  • Stretching helps reduce stress: In a study examining stress reduction methods in Brazilian pre-university students, stretching significantly reduced symptoms.
  • Stretching post exercise may increase your performance in your next work-out: In one study, those individuals who stretched after a workout intense enough to induce soreness performed better during an exercise session 48 hours later than those who did not.


REFERENCES


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