As children we take our flexibility for granted; it is an unseen factor in how kids are able to bounce up off the ground without being hurt and shield away many of the mysterious aches and pains their parents are concerned about. However, over time, this aura fades away, and our health is something of which we must become increasingly aware. Losing the prime flexibility of childhood might be inevitable for all but the most gifted gymnasts and contortionists, but thinking about our range of motion and flexibility as a component of our overall wellness can pay off greatly in the long term.

To begin with, maintaining your range of motion isn’t just about being able to do a cartwheel at your 50th high school reunion. Keeping your flexibility tuned up leads to improved circulation, reduced risk of injury and a lowering of the stress that your body carries around. Furthermore, it is recommended that people keep regular stretching exercises as part of their wellness routine starting at an early age rather than turning to them only once they are trying to address a problem. Someone who plays sports regularly through high school and stays active in college might experience a massive drop off in that activity level after graduation if they do not stay moving and motivated. One trick is to start thinking of stretching not just as the warmup to something else important, but as an important part itself in your overall maintenance so that it becomes a regular part of your morning or day.

Of course, when the topic of flexibility comes up, many people’s minds will turn to yoga. More than ever, you can find out if yoga is for you by a range of phone apps, YouTube videos and online guides. With some regular practice ‒ not just trying it once and uninstalling the app next week ‒ you might start to feel a little more limber and a little less self-conscious about practicing around others. Most yoga enthusiasts, however, would stress to you that these solo methods are only a substitute for regularly attending yoga classes. It might take getting over what feels like stage fright, but instructors do their best to make sure classes feel more like a cooperative group environment rather than a competition. Regular sessions help maintain a schedule and (while college and high school students may scoff at this) can keep you connected with other people who value their wellness, as it can be harder as we get older to make friends with common interests.

Chiropractic health is deeply concerned with maintaining the healthy movement and function of the body, and range of motion exercises are not uncommon in treating our aches as we age. A healthcare professional can be a wonderful resource in helping you address any problems you are facing, but they too would rather you begin taking preventive measures ahead of time to stop the clock from getting too far ahead of you. Let Life University help you develop those healthy habits that you will take into your future!