select

start living right

CARDIO

  • Why You Should Engage in Team Sports

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff You don’t have to make the national soccer team or the NBA to enjoy the many advantages of being part of a sports team. In this article, I’ll list the top 5 reasons why it’s so great to engage in a team sport! ...
  • Yoga and Fat Loss

    Yoga originated in India and is historically said to be at least 5000 years old. It brings about mental, physical and spiritual peace to those who practice it. By definition, the word yoga means to “unite or integrate” oneself to their body and consc...
  • Top Reasons to Start Playing Soccer

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Soccer is a very popular sport all over the world, especially in Europe and South America. Soccer is also one of the oldest sports with the first match dating all the way back to 1004 B.C. in Japan. Over the ye...
  • Flexibility Uncovered

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Definition Flexibility means your body can stretch and utilize its maximum possible movements. These movements are often limited by our joints. For example, your back can bend far forward, but much less far ba...
  • Boxing as a Cardio Workout

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Cardio can become extremely monotonous and routine if you spend hours on the treadmill, stair master or elliptical. If you want to burn a lot of calories and enjoy doing it, give boxing a try. “Boxing is a gre...
  • Quick and Easy Tips to Boost Your Endurance

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Improving your endurance is extremely essential to your health and physical strength. Boosting your cardiovascular health will strengthen your heart muscles and prolong your life expectancy. A good endurance wi...
  • 10 Reasons to Start Pole Fitness Dance Classes

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff. Photo credit: Jilse Rig, Dutch competitive pole dancer.   In the past, strip clubs were associated with a dodgy atmosphere and were situated in the bad part of town. Today things couldn’t be more different! D...
  • Why Swimming is an Excellent Cardio

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Stop running, put your bike in the garage and set your boxing gloves aside! Why you may ask? To go swimming! In this world of never-ending fitness trends, you would almost never consider swimming as a sport or ...
  • Exercise For Seniors

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff As we get older, our strength, endurance and flexibility changes over the course of the years and typically decreases. This can be extremely dangerous as decreased health and fitness will increase the risk of v...
  • Why You Need a Good Sports Bra

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff The reading of this title might make you think ‘right, as if my choice of sportswear will affect my performance’. In this article I’ll explain why in fact it is important to invest in good quality underwear. ...
  • Stretching Myths and Facts

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Stretching is said to reduce injuries and overall benefit the exercise performance. Is this really true though? In this article I will debunk some myths and state some facts.  What is stretching? The main o...
  • Why You Should Never Ditch Cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Being active is the greatest gift you can ever give to your body. Here are some top reasons why you should never ditch cardio. Cardiovascular...
  • Cellulite definition, causes and how to get rid of it

    by Startlivingright.net – More on cellulite, their causes, consequences, and how to treat, get rid of them or at least minimize their appearance during occasions. Near...
  • High Intensity Interval Training

    by Startlivingright.net – One of the most popular forms of cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It helps us burn calories faster and become fit. High int...
  • Common sports injuries

    by Startlivingright.net – Inevitable sports injuries may occur while during and weight exercise or training workout. Know more about their treatments and prevention. S...
  • Why your fat loss may be off to a slow start

    by Startlivingright.net – It is very frustrating not to see and results in our fat loss process. You must make sure you’re practicing cardio and know that it takes time. ...
  • The benefits of fasted cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Doing a cardio session at the morning, before breakfast, is known as fasted cardio. It helps removing the last bits of body fat. One common t...
  • Myth of the fat burning zone

    by Startlivingright.net – “The fat burning zone is one of the most pervasive myths in the fitness industry that just won’t go away.” Learn more!. One endlessly pervas...
  • Different forms of cardio explained

    by Startlivingright.net – Switching forms of cardio is a great way to break out of a fat loss plateau. Walking or jogging and stair climbing are examples of cardio forms. ...
  • Cardio needed for maximal fat loss

    by Startlivingright.net – Startlivingright.net – The frequency and duration of cardio needed for fat loss differ between beginners and experienced people, and depend on many other factors. ...
  • Does cardio cause loss of muscle mass

    by Startlivingright.net – In order to keep the required muscle mass, the athlete should know which kind of cardio session to choose, depending on his goals. One common...
  • When is the best time of day to do cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Cardio sessions can vary between morning, fasted cardio and evening sessions. You choose whenever it’s convenient for your daily schedule. Pe...

Flexibility uncovered

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

Definition

Flexibility means your body can stretch and utilize its maximum possible movements. These movements are often limited by our joints. For example, your back can bend far forward, but much less far backwards. Thumb and fingers bend way more than at the palm of your hand. However, there are some people, especially those of Eastern or African descent, who are incredibly flexible. And of course there are contortionists and acrobats, who can bend all the way backwards and place their head between their legs while standing!

Is it genetic?

Flexibility can be improved but heredity, race and individual predisposition play a major role.

What causes lack of flexibility?

Short muscles are generally responsible for a lack of flexibility. People who merely perform weight training often have short muscles. Though the muscles are very strong, they remain stiff and in a state of tension. In addition to weight training, you should always stretch the muscles with stretching exercises.

Stretching is also said to improve the muscle performance. For example, a javelin thrower who has powerful muscles but a rather stiff and slightly bent elbow will not throw the spear as far as an opponent who is equally strong, but with a fully extendable arm.

Flexibility and health

Lack of flexibility can create other physical problems. For example, someone with a stiff neck and head will suffer from cramped muscles which will result in headaches, dizziness and neck pain.

Stiff muscles also place an excessive load on our tendons which can increase the risks of a tendon rupture. Also, joints that do not move regularly tend to get "stuck" because the joints do not produce enough lubricating fluid. Those recovering from a broken arm will often complain about a stiff shoulder for weeks even after the cast has been removed.

Good coordination and flexibility

Flexibility and coordination is incredibly important and can even help you avoid dangerous or risky situations. For example, an experienced skier will smoothly descend down the slopes whereas an untrained beginner will end up wobbling at every turn on his or her ankles and knees. Beginners tend to get more injured as they have poorer flexibility and coordination.

How to stretch and improve your flexibility

A little stretching in the morning goes a long way. After waking up, you will often feel stiff as you have had very limited movement in your sleep. The stiffness will then disappear after you have moved around a little. Exercises that stretch your muscles will increase your blood circulation and will be a healthy start to your day.

Back stretch

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Stretch your arms above your head and reach out as far as possible. Now bend your knees and rotate your arms with one arm moving backwards and the other arm moving forwards. Repeat ten times.

Waist stretch

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and your arms alongside your body. Swing the right arm overhead and let your left hand slide down your leg reaching as low as possible. Repeat for both arms ten times.

Knee lift

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and arms alongside your body. Bend your right knee and pull it up with both hands as far as possible towards your chest. Repeat with the left knee and complete for both legs ten times.

The bottom line

Being flexible is good for your coordination and can prevent bodily aches that are discomforting. Flexibility is genetic but can always be improved by daily stretching. Start your day off right by performing some stretching exercises that will increase your blood flow and boost your energy levels.  

Leave a Comment