If you struggle to touch your toes or you’re eager to become more supple, exercise is the best medicine. Exercising regularly has myriad benefits for your health and wellbeing. It will help to improve your endurance, strength and flexibility. If you’re looking to tone up and loosen up those joints, here are some of the best types of exercise to boost flexibility.
Yoga exercises focus on stretching and breathing. Almost every move will test your flexibility and balance. Don’t worry if you’re a novice, and you find the poses impossible at first. The beauty of yoga is that you develop constantly, and you’ll soon find that you’re moving about much more gracefully. There are countless types of yoga class available. Join a beginner’s group if you’ve never tried yoga before or you have poor flexibility. If you’re apprehensive about going on your own, take a friend along. As well as increasing suppleness, yoga also conditions your body and tones your muscles. It’s also a really good way of channelling stress after a long week and relaxing your mind.
Pilates is designed to build strength and focuses on the core muscles. Physiotherapists often recommend this type of exercise for those wishing to tone up. You can strengthen and define your muscles, without increasing muscle mass significantly. Pilates moves help to improve your posture and make your joints more mobile. Try a beginner’s class if you’re not sure if Pilates is for you. Like yoga, many people find that classes are very calming. If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach or next to a park, research outdoor classes or take your mat out for a solo session.
Ballet and contemporary dance
Most forms of dance have benefits for flexibility. Ballet and contemporary dance are particularly effective. This is because they concentrate on long, elegant lines and fluid movements. Dancing can also be great fun, and it works the whole of your body. Regular classes will help you to build up stamina, as well as muscle tone.
Gymnastics is something many of us tried as youngsters and have written off since. The good news is that modern gym classes are much more fun and varied than the lessons you had at school. There’s all kinds of adult classes available, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your flexibility will improve. Always make sure you stretch thoroughly and complete a full body warm-up before you attempt any gym moves. Even if you’re incredibly confident in your backflip, you could injure yourself if your muscles aren’t primed and ready.
Jumping around is fun, but it’s also great exercise. The more confident and competent you become, the more tricks you’ll be able to attempt. All the while, you’ll be increasing your strength, flexibility and fitness.
Good flexibility is essential for healthy joints. Focusing on your suppleness now will help to keep joint problems at bay in the future and enable you to enjoy exercising more. If you’re up for getting more flexible for summer, give these activities a whirl.