The Importance of Being Flexible
By Dr. Patrick Flanagan
I am Dr Patrick Flanagan, and this is the latest edition of my Dr Health Secrets newsletter.
I am a scientist with over 300 inventions related to health, longevity and medicine. This newsletter installment is about stretching, flexibility and its effects on your body.
Bone Up on Your Stretching
You attempt to bend down and lift your cat but your lower back creaks, seizes up and complains. Your hamstrings are tight as two boards of plywood from years of running, but will not allow you to reach down to pick up your grandchild. You stretch for the bar of soap in the shower but your shoulder tightens in its rotator cuff. Your body rattles, grates and squeaks like the tin man as you stiffly maneuver through your busy day.
If you want to retain a youthful flexible body that will bend at your request, then move the toxins out and get the oxygen in to the connective tissues and joints. You may not ever be ready to run away with the trapeze lady at Cirque de Soleil, but you will be able to bend down and pick a flower or tie your shoe all the way into your 70's if you give in to a routine practice of stretching.
Flexibility is a health issue for many adults as the average person loses up to 70% of flexibility between the ages of 20 to 70 if they do not take conscious action to stretch their joints, ligaments, and bones. Although not life-threatening, lack of flexibility is a health concern for those who exercise, and for those who don't, because of its debilitating effects on the human body, as joint stiffness increases and muscles become less limber with age.
Stretch These Old Bones
Extended periods of inactivity bring about chemical changes that can limit flexibility. Underused connective tissue loses elasticity as it becomes stiff and dense. The human body goes through a similar process as it ages, but a flexibility program will not only improve physical fitness, it can give you a more youthful body. Stretching will increase suppleness by stimulating the production of chemicals that lubricate the connective soft tissue. Stimulating the production of lubricants between connective tissue fibers promotes hydration and as a result, the pliancy and agility of the movements of your body, slowing down the aging process.
Flexibility is defined as the absolute range of motion available in any joint. It is joint specific. How far will the joint yield to slow steady stretches while breathing deeply. It is also movement specific. You may be flexible in one shoulder stretch, but not in another. Flexibility training promotes relaxation both mentally and physically. Body awareness, aligned posture, and proper breathing patterns will be enhanced and carry over into your daily life, which is the ultimate goal of all exercise and health care. You exercise to increase the quality of your life through taking care of the body. Stretching quickens the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients, while speeding the removal of lactic acid and other waste products. It is vital to hydrate, and re-hydrate after deep stretching, to help remove the toxins from the body and to promote suppleness and lasting health.
Recommendations for Flexibility Training
1. Stretch and flexibility training should be done when the body is warm.
2. Yoga is an amazing practice to strengthen and stretch the body and mind.
3. Never stretch to the point of pain, only slight discomfort.
4. Slow long inhales and exhales will aid you to get into a stretch, and ease the muscles over time into relaxing more deeply.
5. Hydration is a necessary way to keep healthy, removing the toxins from the muscles, joints and connective tissue.
Water These Old Bones
Some of you may say, "Well, I hate water and I don't want to drink anymore than I have to," and while I want to enforce that water is essential to our bodies and minds, seeing as how we are mostly comprised of it, there are other ways to make the most of the water that you do drink.
Make sure you can absorb the nutrients with proper hydration. That means enough of the right kind of water each day. The naturally present water in raw foods is a great source but also make sure your water has a low surface tension.
Though most tap and bottled water has high surface tenions, there are ways to make water more available to your body's cells.
Silica is a natural mineral and special forms of microcluster silica are small enough to change the absorption properties of water. Ask your vitamin store for it.
About The Author
This article has been brought to you by Dr Patrick Flanagan, a cellular hydration expert who has developed a unique mineral form called Microcluster silica and silica hydride to dramatically increase longevity. Silica hydride is also the most powerful antioxidant known.