Thu, Aug 27, 2009
7 Bodyweight Exercises to Improve Your Flexibility and Balance:
We all know that fitness is an important part of our life when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
In order to lose weight and keep healthy, we need to incorporate regular exercise into our daily regimen. However exercises that only focus on weight loss or strength skip over a several key elements.
Incorporating exercises that focus on your flexibility and balance are equally as important. Both flexibility and balance are important parts of a healthy lifestyle and in some instances can prevent injury or the onset of other health conditions.
Here we look at 7 effective exercises for improving flexibility and balance.
7 Excellent Exercises To Improve Flexibility & Balance
1. Yoga: Not only does yoga give you a chance to relax and focus in on your core and breathing, but it is one of the very best exercise regimens for both flexibility and balance. Though there are various forms of yoga, they all focus on a series of stretches and poses that help to build up your overall flexibility and incorporate a natural balance. As you build up these two elements in your workouts, you will also find that you feel more balanced and healthier as well so it’s an excellent overall workout.
2. Pilates: Pilates is very similar to yoga but it focuses more on your core region. By incorporating exercises that use the core, you are not only strengthening this area but you are naturally increasing your balance and becoming far more flexible as you move along. This exercise regimen promotes doing certain stretches that are formed from the core and you naturally become far more flexible as you perform each set. You will see your flexibility increase after just a few sessions of Pilates.
3. Calf Stretch: This may sound like a simple warm up but it’s highly effective in building up both flexibility and balance. Stand facing a wall or chair and hold on as you rise up and lower down on your toes, putting the core of the stretch on your calves. This will even build up strength in the process and allow your legs to be much more flexible.
4. Side Leg Raise: Though this exercise is usually looked at primarily for balance, it can work quite well for flexibility as well. As you lay on your side, you raise your leg up and hold the position before lowering it. You are building strength and balance in the legs which support the whole body. As you perform more of these leg raises, you will also see that you become far more flexible and can raise your leg higher as you keep going.
5. Stability Ball: Using an exercise ball is one of the best ways to build up your balance and flexibility, and you will develop a well toned core area in the process. The stability ball is what you perform a series of poses and exercises on and you have to naturally balance to be able to stay on it, so you are building up this aspect of your workout. You will find that you feel far more flexible as you continue to use the exercise ball and continued use will even make you stronger as well.
6. Swimming: It seems that swimming shows up as a great exercise for just about anything. It should come as no surprise then that we see swimming as an excellent exercise choice for both flexibility and balance. As you work your way through the water, you are naturally working on your flexibility as your muscles are more pliable. You are working on balance and even strength making it an excellent overall exercise.
7. Running: Many people look to running simply as a calorie burner, but it can be excellent for building up flexibility and balance as well. It’s important to incorporate stretches to avoid injury, but running can make the muscles far more pliable and allow you to stand taller and maintain better overall balance.
The most effective exercise routines are those that incorporate a holistic approach to body strength and health. A balanced routine includes attending to matters of flexibility and balance as well, and these seven excellent exercises will help you do that while providing enough variation and interest to maintain your motivation as well.
Mary Ward is a blogger and enjoys writing about medical career topics, such as how to obtain a Master of Health Administration degree, job and education tips, and more.