- Flexibility is important because it reduces injuries, improves posture, enhances mental wellbeing and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Exercise, anti-inflammatory foods, and taking the right supplements can help you move with more comfort and ease.
When you think of flexibility, what comes to your mind? Most of us probably think about gymnasts and athletes that can move their bodies in extensive and powerful ways.
But flexibility is important for everyone! Of course, not everyone will be able to bend like a yogi but you can reach a healthy level of flexibility that supports your physical mobility and joint function, at any stage of life.
Continue reading to learn more about why flexibility is important and how to develop healthy joint movement!
What is the difference between mobility and flexibility?
While they’re often used interchangeably, mobility and flexibility aren’t exactly the same — although they do impact one another.
Mobility is the extent to which a joint can move through its full range of motion, or in other words, it’s the extent to which you can comfortably move. For example, a healthy shoulder joint is able to lift and lower the arms and move them in a circular motion or back and forth. Flexibility refers to the extent a muscle can stretch and lengthen without pain. Like mobility, the range of flexibility is specific to a person and individual joints and muscles. You don’t necessarily need to be very flexible in order to have good mobility but it is an important contributing factor to stronger muscle function and joint mobility.1
Now let’s dive into more ways that flexibility can benefit you.
What are the benefits of improving flexibility?
Whether you have athletic goals or just want to feel stronger and more nimble, improved flexibility has a wide range of health benefits. Working on your flexibility in small ways every day can positively impact your life in the following ways:
Everyday injuries are more likely to occur when your muscles are tight. Taking the time to incorporate stretching before and after a workout can help to reduce the chances of strain and injury.2
Many of us work on a computer or on a phone, leading us to hunch our neck and shoulders. Over time, this may cause pain and tension. Stretching and working on your muscle balance can help your body maintain proper posture and alignment, making sitting and standing feel more comfortable overall.3
It’s no surprise that physical pain and restrictions have an impact on our mental health. Joint pain and muscle soreness are associated with higher levels of stress and fatigue because your day-to-day comfort and movement is impacted.4 Stretching your muscles regularly and taking care of your physical health can promote feelings of wellbeing and relaxation, in addition to expanding your range of motion.5
Reduces the risk of osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic and progressive disease that causes pain, inflammation and limited joint mobility. While there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, physical activities such as strength training and stretching can help to improve your joint health and slow down its development.6
Solgar® Calcium “600” with Vitamin D3 helps promote bone health.* Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.*
How long does it take to improve flexibility?
Like most physical goals, improving flexibility takes time and depends on the individual. For this reason, there’s no one-size-fits all that applies to the length of time it takes to improve flexibility. The American Council on Exercise recommends at least 30 minutes, three times per week for flexibility training to see any improvements in flexibility.7
3 tips for improving joint mobility and flexibility
1. Exercise to improve mobility
Like plants need water, our joints need movement to thrive. Integrating a workout into your daily routine helps keep your joints healthy, reduces muscle tension, prevents stiffness, and increases range of motion.8
Joint tissue is surrounded by the synovial membrane, which creates a fluid that lubricates the joint. Physical activity promotes circulation, therefore helping the body send oxygen and nutrients to the synovial membrane.9 Not to mention, it helps to build muscle, which is key for protecting your joints.
Always consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.
2. Eat to maintain healthy joints
Your joints are hungry for nutritious foods! If you want to prevent joint pain and support your overall joint mobility, consider including the following foods in your diet:
- Fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, and scallops are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits.10
- Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds contain fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids among other nutrients which are good for your joints.11
- Fruits and Vegetables: Blueberries, cherries, spinach, kale and broccoli are particularly good for your joints because they are high in antioxidants. Red and purple fruits like blueberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins, which are compounds that have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect.12
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is packed with heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal, which is an anti-inflammatory compound that helps to reduce inflammation.13
- Beans: This power food is full of antioxidants, fiber, and protein, making them good for maintaining healthy joints and building muscle around your joints.14
3. Take supplements for bone and joint health
At Solgar®, we believe in creating joint health supplements that support your joints as much as they support you.
Solgar® No.7: helps increase flexibility and mobility, so that you can continue the active lifestyle you love.* And, you can start feeling improvements in joint comfort in as little as 7 days!* Each serving offers natural ingredients such as white willow bark, turmeric, ginger root, cayenne pepper, and more, as well as other clinically-studied ingredients.
Solgar® Full Spectrum Curcumin: uses curcumin — an antioxidant derived from turmeric — to support joint health.* Each serving helps fight free radicals and supports healthy joints.*
And, it’s more absorbable and lasts longer than regular curcumin!*
Solgar® Glucosamine MSM Complex (Shellfish-free): includes vitamin C, manganese, ginger root and willow bark extracts to promote healthy joint structure and flexibility, which supports comfortable movement.*
Solgar® Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3: Promotes healthy bones.*
At the end of the day…
Your joints are your body’s support system. When you take steps to improve your flexibility and mobility, you’re giving your joints the care and attention they need to help you move and feel your best.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.