To increase strength and get enough protein, try pilates, yoga, or tai-chi. Then relax in a warm tub. Give it some time. Make it a part of your daily life.

Choose the best exercise

The NHS recommends yoga, pilates and tai chi for increasing flexibility. Pilates and yoga focus on flexibility and strength, while yoga focuses on improving joint mobility. Yoga is more focused on strengthening and increasing range of motion. Chris Magee is the head of yoga at Psycle London, he says: “Tai chi loosens the muscles and stretches all parts of the body. Because it can be adjusted to suit different abilities, Tai Chi is particularly useful for those with limited mobility or who are recovering from injuries.”

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Get enough protein

Although there are no direct correlations between diet and increased flexibility, Claire Fudge, clinical dietician, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association says that including quality protein after exercise is a smart move. Fudge says that collagen, which is made up of the building blocks protein, can be combined with vitamin C to help reduce joint pain, support tendons, and aid in recovery. It won’t make someone more flexible but it can help to reduce soreness after exercising.

Keep your stretches going for a long time

Dr Tony Kay, professor of biomechanics, University of Northampton, states that stretching is important but it is not done for enough time. “Most people hold a stretch for 5-10 seconds. But if you want to alter the stiffness of your tissues, it should be held for much longer.” Dr Polly McGuigan is a senior lecturer at the University of Bath in biomechanics. She says that although there are different opinions about the length of static stretching, she recommends at least 30 seconds.

Practice often

McGuigan says flexibility isn’t something you can change in a hurry. McGuigan says that flexibility is not something you can change quickly. It takes time and a concerted effort using a static stretching program. Your lifestyle will determine how flexible you should be. For daily activities, it is sufficient to perform the essential tasks like bending down to take off socks. Kay says that it all depends on what type of exercise is being done. Running, tennis, squash, gymnastics, and martial arts all have a greater range of motion that helps reduce injury risk.

Warm up in a bath

McGuigan thinks a warm shower or bath is more beneficial for psychological reasons, but McGuigan recommends it. The natural protective reaction of muscles is something you must overcome when stretching and increasing flexibility. Warm water and a bath can help relax muscles, which will allow you to get more from your stretches.

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