For baby boomers to stay physically and mentally young and agile, they need to have strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.
I have an opinion about why flexibility is the least practiced of these three necessities. Lifting weights for strength fitness results in good muscle size and shape, which are nice attributes for baby boomers to display to the world.
Consistent cardiovascular training will result in baby boomers appearing trimmer, which is also a nice way to look. But who can tell which of us baby boomers has flexibility, which is not an obvious result, as strength and cardiovascular activities are.
Aging is the loss of flexibility in our bodies. Aging is the tendency to become less flexible. If you stretch consistently, you will preserve yourself physically.
Baby boomers are losing their physical flexibility. But we don’t have to. When we baby boomers employ stretching exercise routines, we preserve our youth. Injuries are reduced when our bodies are fit and flexible.
Stretching should be done only when muscles are warm so go for a walk or light run before you start stretching, then start easy and build up from there. When your body is warm, then force applied to the muscle being stretched must be held just beyond a feeling of pain and needs to be held for at least ten seconds.
To stretch is to instinctively relax. When you stretch you’re relieving stress, which should be motivation to stretch regularly. When feeling anxious, go for a walk and finish it with a stretching routine. Take action to reduce tension in your life, which is exercise and flexibility training.
Flexibility exercises have been prescribed for the relief of menstrual disorders, general neuromuscular tension, and low back pain. A certain amount of flexibility is needed for body movement; conversely, lack of flexibility restricts movement.
It takes several weeks of regular training for flexibility training improvement. For maximum development, flexibility exercises should be performed on a daily basis. Many sufficient routines take only a few minutes each day to complete, but warm-ups and cool-downs must also be included in good flexibility programs.
There were periods in my own life when I didn’t do stretching exercises and it was never long before I could tell the difference (tightness) in the way my body felt. My lower back would start to ache if I wasn’t doing hamstring stretches. So the preventative way to have a healthy lower back was to maintain flexibility.
Physical flexibility helps enhance metal flexibility. Since stretching is instinctively relaxing, it is a fine time to employ mental flexibility and recognize and dismiss fears such as stubbornness, selfishness and self pride.
Flexibility is about body preservation, something we baby boomers are now concerned with. It’s never too late to start, so begin stretching gradually and keep it consistent. I get down on the floor and stretch out twice a week. You will be amazed how calming it is to do, and how much better your body and mind will feel when it is part of your regular routine.