Want to Improve Flexibility? Here’s my Favorite Method (Ask the PT)

Improve flexibility

We’ve all been there…

You get out of bed in the morning and shuffle your way to the bathroom, holding on to the wall, doorframe, or dresser because your body feels so darn stiff. By the time you’re dressed and have finished your coffee, you can move a little easier, but after sitting for your morning commute, meeting, or just scrolling through Facebook, you feel like you’re 20 years older than you really are. Ugh.  

By the end of the day you feel a little better, but you know tomorrow morning will be the same story all over again. What the heck is going on? “I’m too young to feel like this,” you think to yourself. You’re not alone. In fact, I’ve felt the need to improve flexibility in my body before too. It’s hard to believe that I almost never tried what is now one of my favorite ways to feel loose and energized….all because I thought that I wasn’t bendy or limber enough to do it. 

I’ll never forget that conversation I had with the woman who is now my favorite yoga instructor. She gently yet passionately told me just to try it. I didn’t have to be flexible or have great balance to reap the benefits.

It’s been more than 10 years since that conversation and now, I do yoga on a weekly basis. I just love how it makes me feel relaxed, strong, powerful, loose, and flexible all at the same time. I have a feeling you may just fall in love with it too.

Why yoga?

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again—Movement is medicine. Moving and stretching your body in all different directions is key to improve flexibility, and feel loose, limber, and young. One of the best ways to do this on a weekly basis is through yoga. There are so many reasons why I recommend it to my clients. 

You move your joints through their full range of motion. You may not do this type of movement in your daily life, which contributes to your joints feeling stiffer and stiffer over time. Yoga poses and flows have you in all different positions. When done consistently, you’ll notice you can move further and better without feeling so stiff. Picking the laundry basket up from the ground, putting on your shoes and reaching for those spices on the top shelf of the pantry while cooking will all feel a bit easier.

Your body is always moving. Yoga flows are some of my favorite classes because you’re always moving into different positions. While you may hold a pose for several breaths, you then move in the opposite direction to stretch something else. This makes your joints super happy! Our bodies are made to move, so consistently flowing through different positions helps the body feel limber for the long term. 

It makes you really strong. All this movement makes your muscles get stronger! You don’t have to lift heavy weights to get strong. Controlling how your body moves between the different poses makes all those stabilizing muscles (like your back and core)  fire up. You’ll notice you can go up steps without pulling yourself up with the handrail, feel more stable and balanced going downstairs, and stand on one leg to put on your pants and socks. Win!

It reduces stress. Yoga focuses on breathing and being present in the moment. Both are so important when it comes to managing stress. Just focusing on breathing will automatically make you feel more relaxed—which we all need more of in our lives.

Before you say no…

You may be thinking, “I don’t have an hour to do yoga every day.” I hear you…I don’t either! You’ll actually feel a difference from doing just 5-10 minutes of yoga every other day. The key is consistency, so find a way you can implement it regularly. You can even get your kiddos involved too!

If you’re not ready to venture into a yoga studio, there are so many great online resources. Some of my favorites videos are from Sarah Beth and Travis Eliot, and both are only 10 minutes long.

Yoga is a great and enjoyable way to improve flexibility, reduce stress levels and build strength. Give it a go and let me know what you think. Have specific questions or want to uplevel your flexibility even more? Contact us to see how we can help!

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Author:

Dr. Stephanie Duffey

We Help Motivated Women Feel Physically Amazing So They Can Be Active, Empowered, And Energized Without Frustrating Pain Or Injury.