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Stretching for Good Health

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Maintaining Flexibility Throughout Life

As you get older, your entire body grows stiffer. The joints don't work like they used to because that lubricant cartilage breaks down which affects stretching flexibility. Bones become more brittle, and sometimes lose calcium. This sometimes causes osteoporosis and humps. Your muscles may also lose their elasticity. How can you combat your body's war... on you? There are ways to maintain much of your youthful vigor. With the right exercise program regaining more flexibility, bone strength, and movement is possible. In fact, if you do just a little exercise, stretching flexibility will follow.

Reducing Stress with Stretching Flexibility

So what can healthy flexing for your body do? Stretching can reduce the stresses of life. Say you are in a life threatening situation. A car is barreling down on you. If you are flexible, you have quicker reaction times, and are more able to get out of the way. If you were hit (heaven forbid) the car would inflict less damage because there is more give in your joints and muscles. Because of your stretching flexibility you would also feel less pain after the accident. This is just one example.

When you increase body flexibility, relaxation comes easier also. It is possible to sleep better just because you have done some stretching exercises prior to hitting the sheets.  The benefits are numerous. One of the biggest benefits to women is that being more flexible decreases the pain in menstruation.

So you know that you should do it, but how do you get that perfect stretching flexibility? Here is what experts recommend. Warm up properly. This means that you do something to increase you core temperature. First, lubricate all of the joins by simple rotation. All of the joints means every joint from fingers to toes. Then do a short aerobic exercise. Jog, jump up and down, anything to get the blood pumping. Next you need to do some stretching exercises that specifically increase your stretching flexibility. There are two types of stretches: static and dynamic. Static stretches occur just by arching the back or rolling the neck. Dynamic stretches are arm swings or leg raises. All of these stretches prepare your body for exercise. If it is impossible to stretch the entire body, due to time constraints, just stretch those parts that are going to be the most heavily used. Finally you should perform exercises that are specifically related to your workout sporting activity. If you are going to play baseball, simulate throwing and batting. For football, how about pretending that you are throwing a pass or catching the ball. This routine will help you flex your body for increased health.

Finally you need to cool down from physical activity, and this means some good stretches to keep the muscles and joints limber. A proper cool down will decrease muscle and joint pain later on. Massage the muscle before each stretch. This increases the stretching flexibility even after a strenuous workout. Massage increases blood flow and oxygen saturation. After massaging the muscle or joint, stretch it again. This allows you time to cool the tissue which aids in proper healing to muscle damaged during exercise.

It may be difficult to perform these steps every time you exercise, but if you complete this regimen faithfully you'll feel the benefits.

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