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Learn More About Flexibility and balance

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Woman in gym clothes facing upward, leaning back of her shoulders against large exercise ball, elevating torso horizontally
What it is: Flexibility challenges the ability of your body’s joints to move freely through a full range of motion. Balance maintains stability, whether you’re stationary or moving around.

Good flexibility exercises include:

  • Stationary stretches and stretches that involve movement.
  • Yoga.
  • Pilates.

]If you’re already active, chances are you currently engage in exercises that improve balance, such as walking, hiking, cycling, golf, tennis, or strength training (especially core-strength training). However, balance typically worsens as we age, so if you’re an older adult looking to specifically improve your balance, you can do so by trying:

  • Yoga, Pilates, or tai chi.
  • Exercises such as standing on one leg, walking backwards, or using a wobble board.
  • Strength training the muscles of your back, abdomen, and legs.

]Why it’s good for you: Flexibility helps your body stay limber and increases your range of movement for sports as well as daily physical activities such as reaching, looking behind while driving, and bending to tie your shoes. Flexibility exercises that lengthen and stretch muscles also help to:

Keep your muscles and joints supple and less prone to injury.

  • Prevent back pain.
  • Improve your athletic performance.
  • Prevent balance problems.
  • Increase circulation.
  • Relieve tension and stress; promote relaxation.

Balance exercises can help to improve your posture and reduce your risk of falling as you get older.

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