Article Contributor: Andrew
The importance of maintaining your flexibility from an early age shouldn’t be overlooked. For men and women of all ages in the UAE even simple stretching exercises should be part of your daily routine. This also especially applies to stretching before exercise.
In this article we’ll hopefully provide you with some great tips, advice and even exercise types that can help you maintain or improve your flexibility through proper daily stretching.
So what do we mean when we talk about stretching and flexibility? Stretching is about so much more than getting out of bed in the morning and having a stretch, although that feels great when you wake up.
When we are talking about health, stretching relates to the process of lengthening (stretching) the muscles and soft tissues. The more you stretch as part of a daily routine the more your muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues will benefit.
Sitting, sleeping and being in one position for extended periods of time means muscles etc tend to tense up more which is why stretching is important.
Flexibility is a term used to describe a range of motion or movement around a particular part of the body. That could be a joint (like the ankle joint) or a set of joints. Flexibility often means how flexible you are. For example, try and touch your toes. Many people have a problem doing this but the more you work on your flexibility the easier it becomes. Improving your flexibility is easy but like any form of exercise, it has to be maintained to reap the continued benefits.
Over time, if we don’t do some form of daily exercise our flexibility tends to become reduced. This is especially true as we get older.
Flexibility and stretching exercises should be a daily exercise for all men and women in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Even if you don’t know the best stretching and flexibility exercises to do there are plenty of resources on the internet and you can even find a professional male or female personal trainer on the UAE Personal Trainers website who specialises in Stretching and Flexibility training programs.
Let’s take a look as some of the main reasons why you need to add more flexibility and stretching training to your daily routine.
1. According to a research article from Harvard Health, stretching helps to keep muscles flexible, strong and healthy. Unless you regularly stretch your muscles they will eventually become shorter which limits your range of motion (flexibility) because the muscles become more tight.
2. Muscles that become shorter and tighter limit your range of motion as mentioned above. This can result in joint and muscle pain, muscle strains and even muscle damage.
3. For men and women who regularly train in the UAE stretching and flexibility need to be part of your warm up routine to prevent training injuries.
4. One of the major reasons you want to improve your flexibility (through stretching) has to do with age. As we get older our range of motion decreases. By improving your flexibility (range of motion) you are improving your ability to remain independent.
No matter what your age or your physical ability there is no reason why you can’t do some form of stretching and flexibility exercise every day. A flexibility personal trainer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah can create the perfect program suited to your needs.
Stretching can be as simple as doing some floor or chair exercises during the day or taking a professional stretching class. We’ve included some great examples of beneficial exercise you can do in the article below.
Although this article has been created to help anyone who is interested in learning more about stretching and flexibility we want to provide some additional information for seniors because it’s often the case that seniors in the UAE can benefit the most from some additional flexibility training.
Slowing down as we age is perfectly normal – it’s part of getting older. However, without proper stretching and gentle flexibility exercises it can be difficult for seniors in the UAE to maintain a level of mobility. Even the simple things that we often take for granted like getting out of a chair, getting out of bed and more become more difficult.
A recent study published in the Journal of Gerontology looked at the 12-month results of a stretch and flex program for older adults. The participants demonstrated positive changes in areas like physical fitness, self-efficacy, perceived functioning, and well-being. They also experienced a decrease in pain that can often be associated with ageing.
Ultimately, we all want to remain mobile as we age, doing suitable stretching and flexibility exercises with a senior fitness personal trainer in Dubai or Abu Dhabi can help with:
Now you know why it’s important to work on your stretching and flexibility let’s take a look at some of the best ways to include stretching and flexibility into your daily routine – either as part of an exercise or training program or on its own.
Yoga just might be the king of exercises when it comes to being more flexible and ‘stretchy’. Yoga is a centuries old exercise method that can help stretch and tone the muscles, provide greater flexibility in the joints and generally make you feel more supple overall.
The great thing about Yoga is that if is suitable for beginners too. Yoga as a form of stretching and flexibility exercise is equally suitable for all ages too.
Even if you have no experience, a private or group Yoga coach in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah can start you off at a very basic level so you won’t overdo it.
You might think you need to be super fit, thin or very flexible to do Pilates. However, this is far from the truth.
Pilates, when done daily can provide you with gentle stretching and flexibility benefits by improving your muscle tone and posture.
A good Pilates coach in the UAE will know how to create a Pilates program based on your current ability and flexibility level. Within just a few short sessions you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your life.
You might think that aerobics exercises are only done for cardio fitness. However, this is not always the case. A good aerobics class in the UAE will include a stretching and flexibility element too.
Many of us love to dance. Did you know that what you think as being a fun and social activity can also be great for your flexibility too. In fact, the UAE Personal Trainers website includes fitness instructors who are dedicated to providing dance fitness training in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Tai Chi isn’t like a fast-paced martial art. In fact, it’s completely the opposite.
Tai Chi provides a slow and gentle form of exercise which is ideally suited to all ages including seniors who might have limited mobility.
The secret to Tai Chi and flexibility is that it tends to focus on muscle strength, flexibility, balance, stretching and toning muscles and breathing properly.
Resistance bands are a great way to add ‘resistance’ to your stretching and flexibility exercises. You choose the band resistance that is suitable for the exercise you are doing. Resistance bands are a great addition to stretching because they are portable too.
Of course stretching and flexibility exercises don’t need to fall into a category or exercise method. Many people in the UAE find great health and fitness benefits from doing basic standing or even seated stretching routines. This can include stretching for legs, the back, the arms and the neck.
Simple stretching and flexibility exercises are very easy to do at home or at work. This especially helps if you are seated for much of the day.
Every hour or so do some simple chair based arm and leg stretches to help improve your muscle tone and your flexibility.
With any type of exercise you need to take precautions to avoid injuring yourself. It’s often the case that we want to run before we can walk but in the long run this can lead to problems.
1. If you have a medical condition always ask your medical professional for advice before you start a new exercise program.
2. Ease into it. Even if you think you are in fairly good shape always start from a basic level and east into your new stretching routine gradually.
3. Don’t overdo it. Stretching and flexibility exercises can be done on a daily basis, even if you are a senior or have other exercise limiting conditions. But, start slowly and build yourself up.
4. Pre natal ladies. If you are pregnant in the UAE you need to take extra precautions when it comes to any exercise. Always seek the advice of a pre or post natal personal trainer in the UAE before you start.
5. Rehabilitation. If you’ve suffered from an injury or an illness stretching and flexibility exercises are a great way to get your back on your feet. However, this should only be done under guidance.
If you want to remain mobile as you get older or just feel like you need to add some stretching to your daily routine the UAE Personal Trainers website can help.