When it comes to flexibility, everyone wants it, some have it, some believe it declines naturally with age, some believe it’s no longer achievable after a certain age.
I am here to tell you a big secret – it is. And there’s a lot about flexibility that perhaps you don’t even realize!
What to consider about flexibility
Before we get into the steps I am going to outline on how to improve flexibility, it’s important to raise awareness of the biggest aspect of flexibility that we often don’t consider. Our bodies are comprised of vast and intricate matrix of connective tissues. Connective tissue is what connects, supports, binds, or separates other tissues and/or organs.There is not one single area of our bodies that does not have any connective tissue as a part of it. Often we believe our muscles are tense, or tight due to not being stretched enough, etc, when really our flexibility has a great deal to do with our connective tissues, and how properly balanced this matrix is.
Here are some steps to be followed to really improve flexibility much more efficiently than you’ve maybe thought possible.
1. Maintain an alkaline diet
In this day and age, our diets are mostly acidic. The pH of our bodies has a lot to do with our levels of flexibility, as well as our over all health as a whole. The more acidic our bodies are, the more hardened and tight our connective tissues become.
The best way to maintain an alkaline Healthy Body is through diet.
In order to keep our pH more alkaline than acidic, it’s best to keep the diet plant based, with avoidance of things like processed foods, pasteurized dairy, hydrogenated oils, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, pharmaceuticals and other junk foods. Good alkaline foods include vegetables, especially the leafy green ones, fruits, stevia over other sweeteners, sea salts, and alkaline water.
2. Stretch to balance the entire Healthy Body
Often certain muscles will be already too lengthened and others will be shortened. It is good to be stretching in a way that balances this out, so that we are maintaining the appropriate lengths of each muscle. There are some excellent stretch programs out there designed to keep the Healthy Body properly balanced.
3. Make sure you are stretching in the evening before bed
Our nervous system keeps record of how long and short each of our muscles are based on how we live our day to day lives. For example, we’ve often seen on TV a sprinter stretching out before a race, only to see his/her hamstring break halfway through the race. This is because the nervous system will re-shorten the muscle to its average length, unless we are properly stretching it out in the evening. The evening is when we can re-program our muscles to change their length into what we’re desiring as we stretch them.
4. Maintain a flexibility practice, like yoga
Doing a regular practice of flexibility, such as yoga, stretching classes or our own stretching routines will ensure that we are continuing to maintain the flexibility of our bodies as we age. It is important to incorporate flexibility training into our regular routines, so that our muscles can maintain their length over the span of our lifetimes.
Better with age
It is a complete fallacy to maintain the belief that it’s a “normal” aspect of ageing to become less flexible.
The only reason most people become less flexible with age is because we stop doing the movements that we used to as children, to keep our bodies loose and limber. It’s great to observe this in nature. The first thing an animal does, usually, before getting up from resting is stretching.
Incorporating the four basic steps above, will ensure that we retain optimal flexibility and range of motion well into old age and for the rest of our entire lives.