Flexibility training means much more than just stretching after a workout. While it’s very important to warm up and stretch properly before a workout, and to likewise cool down and stretch again afterwards, flexibility training is actually integral to weight loss. If you’re receiving nutrition counseling and it’s been recommended that you begin a regular exercise program, then it’s essential to incorporate flexibility training.
Flexibility refers to the ability of our joints to move through their entire range of motion. Flexibility training helps create the required balance for our muscle groups that are overused, whether during daily physical activity or workouts. Increasing flexibility will shorten recovery time, reduce the risk of injury and boost your overall athletic performance. While proper nutrition is essential for attaining better health, flexibility training plays a fundamental role in our overall fitness. Boosting flexibility helps make the most of our workouts so that we can increase calorie burn and ultimately lose weight. Here is a breakdown of how it works:
Shortens recovery time. Recovery time refers to how long it takes your body to recover from a workout. When your muscles are tight and inflexible, it may be several days until you can work out again. Highly flexible individuals can get back to their workouts within a day or two, and therefore, can exercise more frequently and burn more calories overall. Flexibility training helps to reduce muscle soreness after exercise and get you back to your exercise regimen as soon as possible.
Boosts athletic performance. Flexibility training aids weight loss by increasing and improving your athletic performance. The more flexible you are, the faster you can walk, run, swim, climb stairs and play sports. As you may have learned in nutrition counseling, performing these types of activities at a faster rate will increase the number of calories burned during your workouts, which will significantly bolster your weight loss efforts.
Reduces the risk of injury. The more flexible your joints are, the more you can increase your range of motion. In addition, when you’re more flexible, you require less energy to work out, which reduces the risk of injury. Stretching can reduce tissue resistance, which enables you to perform workouts that involve the maximum range of motion without the risk of injury.
While proper nutrition is essential for attaining better health, so is exercise and flexibility training. To increase flexibility, you can start simply by focusing on stretches that target the muscle groups that you work during each exercise session. For example, if you jog or walk regularly, then you’ll want to make sure you stretch your quads, hamstrings, and hip flexor muscles. From there, step it up with regular training such as yoga, Pilates or gymnastics classes. These types of workouts will not only boost your flexibility, they will help you tone up and develop strength and power.