Everything’s more Fun When you’re Flexible
How are you spending your leisure time lately? Long walks on the beach? Hiking the trails at your nearby park? Games of doubles on the tennis court? Golf? Gardening? Swimming? Cycling with your grandkids? No matter what your plans are, flexibility—and we’re talking the muscular kind here—makes every activity you do a little easier and a little more successful. How do you maintain or improve your flexibility?
Regular stretching as part of a full body workout plan.
Stretching is so important because when you don’t do it, certain muscle groups shorten and become tight over time. Sitting for long periods, for example, shortens your hamstrings and your hip flexors. This also causes the glutes to lax and not able to fully engage, which can lead to an uneven gait when running, faster fatigue, and lower performance during your gym workouts. And many women carry their stress in their shoulders, which tenses and tightens those muscles. Stretching restores flexibility and length. With flexibility, your muscles and joints are better able to work through their full range of motion. Your swim stroke, your golf or tennis swing, and even your performance during your whole body workout at Curves are fluid and highly functional when muscles are flexible, which will enhance your results.
Of course, physical activity can also cause muscles to tighten. Think back to that feeling of stiffness you had after a particularly lengthy or vigorous bout of activity or gym workout. Regular stretching helps keep you loose and ready to play. Flexibility can help prevent pain and injury during your exercise routine, too. Tight muscles are more easily strained or torn when you’re reaching across the garden bed to pull weeds or extending to return a tennis serve. Also, tightness in one spot can cause problems in another. Let’s revisit those hamstrings: When they’re tight, they put more stress on the muscles in your lower back, and unrelenting stress can lead to back pain.
Despite all the benefits, stretching is often overlooked. Be honest, have you sometimes finished a gym workout without doing your post-workout stretches? Some days it just feels as though we only have time for the main course, no sides, even though we should consider stretching an integral part of a complete whole body workout.
Luckily, the full body workout at Curves integrates stretching into the circuit, depending on the class, and always incorporates a final stretching routine after your workout. For instance, in a Curves Balance class, you’ll do 30 seconds on a resistance machine – or using a resistance band with MyCurves On Demand – followed by 30 seconds of a stretch or balance move, and so on for a total of 30 minutes. The Curves workout plan hits all your major muscle groups, so you have balanced flexibility throughout.
If you’re not already a member, consider making Curves a regular part of your exercise routine, so that you can pursue your fitness relationship goals and enjoy fully all the fun life has to offer… in tip-top shape.