In my last post I remarked about my lack of flexibility. Flexibility is a relative term. In the case of the Ross Sisters of 1944, I would say that being related had a great deal to do with their unblievable flexibility. I’ve seen such acts in the circus before, but I don’t think I have seen anything more remarkable than what they display in this this video clip.
Flexibility is a vital part of fitness, but an area which is often overlooked when we exercise. As we age, we lose elasticity of the muscles and connective tissue. A routine of stretching on a daily basis can help us to maintain our mobility and joint range of motion. Increased flexibility of a joint is gained when a stretch is held for 30 seconds or longer, or when you repeat the stretch 2-3 times and hold it for 8-10 seconds each time.
When stretching to improve range of motion, do so when muscles are warm and elastic in nature. Good times to do this, aside from the obvious time of after we work out, are right after getting out of the shower or bath, before going to bed at night, or after doing work around the house or lawn.
You will find that while stretching your legs you will also be improving your balance…another component of fitness. Stretch the front of your leg by bending your knee and holding on to your sock, heel, or toes. Stretch the fronts and backs of the legs, chest, arms, and back. You will feel better, rest better, have less pain, and a be a lot more mobile.
Stretching is good for you, as long as you aren’t stretching the truth!