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Easy Ways to Increase Flexibility

When it comes to working out, most people think about two categories: cardio and weights. These can be broken down many different ways, but the most common exercises fall into one of these. Aerobics, swimming, walking, and running all improve cardio. Heavy lifting, machines, dumbbells, and kettlebells all work your muscle groups. While both of these are great for the body, there’s another great form of exercise that definitely doesn’t get enough attention.

Stretching improves your flexibility and range of motion. Gaining more in this area will have you feeling better all over. Check out these simple and fun ways to add a little stretching to your regular fitness routine.

Yoga

Yoga is the most famous form of stretching exercise. It is a series of movements and poses designed to help you gain long, lean, flexible muscles. To get the best out of yoga, find a class near you to give a try. The best part about yoga is that there are a million options. Hatha yoga, Bikram yoga, power yoga, restorative yoga...the list goes on and on. With the various options, you’re bound to find something that suits you and your lifestyle.

Pilates

Pilates is popular, but a little less so than yoga. Most forms of pilates requires a machine to aid in the workout. With Pilates, you’ll build muscle and stretch muscle at the same time. Pilates also gives a lot of attention to the back, so you can build a strong, flexible back in the process. The best way to enjoy pilates is to find a local instructor to give you some help. It’s a difficult exercise to pick up without a guide, so take advantage of a teacher for the benefits of this exercise.

Aerobic Stretching

Aerobic stretching is not near as popular as the other options. Essentially, it’s a moving stretch. You’ll build a little cardio, but each and every move is focused on the stretch. This may be a little difficult to find in some areas, but luckily a quick internet search can show you what is available near you. This is a great option for those that don’t want to do anything “stretch heavy,” and would rather focus on fitness as a whole.

Water Aerobics

Technically this is not a stretching exercise, but it definitely needs to be included. This is exactly what it sounds like: aerobics done in the water. It has to be included because stretching in water is a lot like stretching in extreme heat. Your muscles are much more limber and you’ll be able to stretch better than on flat, dry ground. This is a lot easier to find, but if you can’t find a class, you can still stretch your muscles in your nearby swimming pool.

Stretching is one of the most underutilized forms of exercise, but it can really bring a lot of benefits to the table. Add a little stretching to your routine to enjoy a long, lean, flexible body and a healthier life.

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