There is little that compares to the feeling of being able to open up your body, stretch out the limbs, propel yourself, swivel, bend every way possible while moving at a fast pace to upbeat music. It’s like being set free from the sedentary confines of daily life.
But moving freely doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Daily routines of modern lifestyle create a lot of tightness in the body. The muscles shorten and stiffen up, not allowing the joints to move through their wonderful range of motion. Poor posture and resultant joint problems often stem out of an inflexible body. It’s often simply accepted by people as a part of growing older, which isn’t quite right. A muscle will shorten and stiffen only because it isn’t used to its potential.
Not only does one miss out on this amazing feeling, but a tight body will burn less calories! When the limbs can reach out more, when you can bend lower and jump higher, the body uses up more energy. Stiff joints drastically reduce this energy expenditure. Until the joints are freed up, it is very difficult to lighten up the body, move with fluidity and truly enjoy the sensation. Think of a ballerina and you may well associate the image with her stretching on a barre. Athletes too spend a good part of their training on stretching to help them move swiftly and prevent injuries.
Left unattended stiffness can lead to the inability of performing even simple tasks like bending to lift something off the floor, or turning your head. It might seem far fetched but it isn’t. Compare your flexibility today to that when you were younger. It isn’t age, its the lack of movement!
Here are some common spots of shortened muscles and stiff joints:
Back of the neck
Front of the shoulder
Spine (Upper, middle & lower back)
Spend some time each day stretching, & opening up to free yourself and enjoy the expanse & beauty of movement!