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How to improve your flexibility

Published: May 26, 2017 10:00 AM

Improving flexibility is a goal for many athletes, whether they're daily exercise devotees or weekend warriors. Taking steps to improve and maintain flexibility has numerous benefits that can pay dividends for athletes of all ages.

Choose the right activities. Harvard Medical School notes that activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help active men and women reduce their risks for injury while potentially preventing back pain and issues that may affect their balance. When done correctly, yoga can improve balance and flexibility.

Drink more water. Drinking water helps to prevent tightness and muscle cramps. In fact, tightness or muscle cramps in the large muscles of the leg may be indicative of the early stages of dehydration. Drinking plain water is the most effective way to stay and remain hydrated. Don't count coffee, tea or sports drinks as water, as such beverages many contain caffeine.

Start over after an extended break. If it's been awhile since you last worked out, resist the temptation to push yourself when returning to the gym. Depending on how long it's been since you last exercised, you may need to start back at square one, which means reducing the amount of weight you lift and decreasing the resistance during cardiovascular exercises.

Get up and go. Poor flexibility may be a byproduct of your lifestyle. Men and women who live sedentary lifestyles are less likely to enjoy the full range of motion from their muscles than those people who are more active.

Get off the couch when spending time at home, and if you work in an office, take routine breaks to stand up and walk around


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