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If you’re trying to lose weight in a healthy and sustained way, you should have a balanced diet along with a physical training program that includes not only cardio and strength workouts, but flexibility training as well.

Since we’ve already talked about cardio and strength workouts in other articles, now we’re going to explain you why it’s important that you develop your flexibility, and how can becoming more flexible can help you lose some extra pounds.

Flexibility and weight loss

If you’re wondering how comes flexibility helps keep our body fit, the answer is quite simple. To begin with, when we’re more flexible we can practice any sport without getting hurt so easily, and it also prevents muscles soreness after working out.

As our body works more efficiently, we burn more calories and optimize our weight loss. Then after we’ve already reached a healthy weight, flexibility exercises help us shape our body figure. Thus, when we feel and look better, it’s a lot easier to keep on with our new habits.

The importance of stretching

If you’re one of those people who spend half of their lives in the same posture, for example, sitting behind a steering wheel or a computer, it’s very likely you’ve already felt that your muscles are constantly tense and contracted, mostly your back and legs. Besides, remaining seated for a long time puts pressure on our pelvis, so it hurts when we stand up.

Regular stretching prevents muscle soreness related to poor postures and everyday stress. Remember that stretching is mandatory before and after a cardio and/or strength workout routine in order not to get hurt or be sore the day after working out.

Effects of stretching

Flexibility is a main issue at any age, and even if it’s one of those abilities which we lose through time, we can improve it no matter if we are young or not so young.

If you’re still not convinced, below are just a few of the many benefits you can get from stretching:

  • Improve muscle strength as it increases amplitude of our movements.
  • Improves post-workout recovery.
  • Reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Relieve joints and muscles tensions.
  • Increases flexibility and decreases stiffness.
  • Helps us relax and experience general well-being.

What is stretching?

Stretching exercises enables the development of flexibility. They are characterized by muscle elongation, and there are mainly two types: static stretching and dynamic stretching. During static stretching, muscles stretch out until perceiving some tension which is held for a few seconds and without doing any effort. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, consists on doing ample movements with different body parts.

According to a study about stretching and strength exercises from Austin University, it’s better if we do dynamic stretching before our strength or cardio trainings. In such way we increase our blood circulation and lubricate our joints. After working out, it’s recommended to do static stretching, since these help us eliminate muscles’ contraction and to regain flexibility and mobility.

How to improve flexibility

Believe it or not, we can improve our flexibility no matter how old we are. What we should keep in mind is that, even when the tension levels of our stretching go hand in hand with our current flexibility level, our objective should be to increase it with practice.

Among some of the activities which help us develop our flexibility there are:

  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Exercise ball
  • Golf

No doubt stretching is the perfect workout partner if we want to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy life. So, #DecideItNow, just remember that all the exercises you do should be appropriate for your physical abilities and for your weight-loss objectives.