rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 12/16/2003
Spotlight Fitness - Flexibility for a Resilient Body
by Tamara Scott-Bogard
It is my belief that everyone has the innate ability to manage their own bodies. Enhanced flexibility allows ones body to be more adaptive to the paces it's put through. The benefits of enhanced flexibility are increased dexterity and agility, injury prevention, and pain relief. There are a number of ways to increase your flexibility. Manual stretching, active assisted stretching and yoga are a few effective choices.

Manual stretching involves no equipment, moving limbs into areas in order to stretch certain muscles. It is advisable to hold the stretches in a static manner for 15-30 seconds as opposed to a ballistic approach. Breathing into any type of stretch is helpful. This has a way of melting tension in the muscles and soft tissues.

Active assisted stretching utilizes the system of opposing muscles groups and how they function as a unit. This type of stretching encourages the contraction of one muscle group to speak to the opposing muscle group, allowing them to relax and stretch uninhibited. Then, once the initial stretch has begun, a rope or towel is used to assist the stretch further. Never stretch into pain or discomfort, only slight tension.

Yoga is a wonderful way to increase not just the flexibility of your muscles but further and including the flexibility of your joints. Yoga is a series of poses or "asanas" that allows you to work into each and every area of your body to release and relax muscles. It is my theory that this is aided by the obvious intense muscle contractions required to hold one in the asanas. Yoga increases your flexibility by softening and lengthening the muscles surrounding your shoulder and hip joints.

When you have successfully put into place a routine of flexibility enhancement you will tap into a source which encourages a pliable body and a hardy existence. This will set forth a life of resilience that will come to your aid on the road. Flexibility increases come slowly but surely over time. With a consistent practice you can change your flexibility and when you do, it is quite surprising.
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