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Stay flexible

July 25, 2017

I won't be looking for a trial with the Mayo team but am I 'fit for life'? Getting older is inevitable but losing all our flexibility is not.I practice what I preach and work every day on my flexibility. We can do a lot to maintain good flexibility.

What is flexibility?

In simple terms flexibility is how far we can turn, bend and reach.This is a vital part of fitness and performance in sport.However, when many people stop engaging in sport they often forget about flexibility. They forget it also makes a huge contribution to our everyday activities of living. Simple things like turning our head and shoulder when reversing a car, or retrieving that damned alarm you threw under the bed at 7am become difficult, maybe painful. 

Flexibility is important at any age or activity level. Short tight muscles cannot perform properly and lead to a reduction in the power needed to perform everyday tasks. We can adapt our exercise schedules as we get older. It might need a little more time, patience and care.

There are formal classes to assist, like Pilates or yoga. They will help to relieve any worry you might have about 'Am I doing the right thing?'

As a podiatrist I have a strong focus on the feet. Free movement of the ankle joint ( that is the simple 'up - down' motion; try your's now!) is very important.  I have read various research articles linking restricted ankle movement to such things as greater risk of falls, and an increased incidence of car accidents (slower reaction). The most recent research goes so far as to link mortality (how long we'll live) with reduced flexibility of the ankle.

Hey There, you've stopped moving your ankle!