#LessonLearned No. 2 : Flexibility
Updated: 2 days ago
Flexibility: (noun) the quality of bending easily without breaking; the ability to be easily modified; willingness to change or compromise
In the world of fitness and bodywork, flexibility is a great ally. To some extent the degree to which you are flexible will either improve or inhibit your potential success. Seeing the need to improve flexibility training will aid us in creating more effective exercise and workout regiments, and will no doubt help us to see the benefits of applying flexibility in life.
When working out in a restricted state, you are working against not only external loads, but internal resistance as well, which means the efficacy under load is only as much as your internal resistance allows for. With more range of motion, tissue elasticity, flexibility, and glide, the internal mechanism of muscle fibers can function properly, helping prevent inflammation, spasms, adhesions, compensations... etc. Healthy tissue means an optimal capacity to function, build, and repair; and decrease injury and wasted effort.
I hate inefficiency.
The same could be said about flexibility in life!
Flexibility doesn’t just mean being able to touch your toes. It’s also the ability to change your “plan” on the fly, it’s determining the need for modification or changes, and adapting.
Some days you’ll approach your workout and know you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, haven’t recovered properly from a previous workout, or perhaps eaten well enough, and you’ll change your plan for the day: a lighter workout, alternative cardio, or maybe an extra day of rest. That is flexibility! Rest and recovery are also flexibility and injury prevention! A day for mental, emotional, physical rest helps you keep from burn out.
Some days I find the best way to be flexible is by cutting a routine short and going for a meditative walk instead of my last set or taking my studies / work somewhere that’s more relaxing, less distracting, easier to breathe.
If we can learn to effectively be flexible with ourselves, we can learn to be flexible with others. Sometimes things in life don’t go as planned, either in or out of our control. Flexibility allows for fluidity not only in our health and exercise, but in our relationships, expectations, and happiness! Just as we can train, stretch, and exercise to gain physical flexibility - which will improve workouts, so practicing flexibility in life with ourselves and others will make ever-changing life less challenging.
How’s your flexibility? Can you bend over and touch your toes? Can you change plans on the fly? Are you able to adapt to the changing needs and affects of others? It takes work, but being flexible always makes us feel better!