But flexibility represents much more than just stretching the muscles or connective tissues. Flexibility may sound superficial (“Does it really matter if I can’t touch my toes?”), but being limber actually retards aging. An article in a recent Yoga Journal explained that
Even if you’re active, your body will dehydrate and stiffen with age. By the time you become an adult, your tissues have lost about 15 percent of their moisture content, becoming less supple and more prone to injury. This normal aging of tissue is distressingly similar to the process that turns animal hides into leather. Unless we stretch, we dry up and tan.
Good stretching affects three different parts of our bodies: the nerves, the muscle fibers and the connective tissues. The muscles must be able to fully stretch, to contract and to rest. These seemingly simple tasks allow us to stand upright, to move, to work, and to play. Returning to full rest after a movement reflects muscle tone or tonus. To achieve tone, muscles rely on the feedback system of our nerves and their own natural elasticity. Accidental injuries, bone fractures or surgery interfere with the interplay of the nerves and tone of the muscles.
Alan Davidson is the author of the free report "Body
Breakthroughs for Life Breakthroughs: How to Peak Your
Physical, Emotional, Mental, Moral, and Spiritual IQs for a
Sensational Life" available at
Alan's also the author of Body Brilliance: Mastering Your
Five Vital Intelligences, the #1 Health and Wellness book
and Winner of Two 2007 Book-of-the-Year Awards.Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
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