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The Importance of Flexibility

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Prince Deese - A.C.T. by Deese

Prince Deese, an All American Wrestler, a Hall of Fame Football Player, and a State Champion Body Builder, is a certified personal trainer and strength conditioning specialist. He is co-owner of the A.C.T. By Deese fitness studio.


Seniors... are you experiencing discomfort when you reach down to tie your shoe? Have you moved items to the lower shelf where reaching them is easier? Are you "giving up" and "giving in" to the limitations that age seems to be bringing?

man stretching

Flexibility and mobility decrease with age, but exercise can slow down the loss of movement and help to maintain your range of motion. A short, daily regimen of simple stretching exercises, performed on a regular basis, could be the answer to maintaining independence and providing the flexibility needed for accomplishing daily tasks. Not only does stretching exercise remove stress, but it will build strength and improve balance that will help to prevent falls. Stretching improves posture, eases stiff joints, and relaxes tight muscles.

With age, flexibility can decrease as much as 50%. A few moments of simple stretching exercises, performed on a daily basis, can help maintain your range of motion, and allow the continuation of normal daily activities. While there are many programs available to help improve mobility, a daily neck stretch, shoulder stretch, and upper back stretch can help to lengthen muscles and get the blood pumping.

1.  neck stretch:  from a sitting position, lift arm over the head and gently pull the head to the side...holding for 30 seconds. Rotate sides.

2.  shoulder/back stretch:  from a standing position, reach behind and pull shoulders back...hold for 30 seconds.

3.  back stretch:  from a standing position, arc backwards and hold for 3 seconds. Remember to consult with your physician before beginning any new fitness regimen.

Sometimes a little extra help is needed to reduce tightness that can cause pain and lack of movement. A technique noted as myofascial release can ease tension and reduce pain by contact pressure on specific areas of muscle tissue. A trained professional will gently massage with light pressure until the area of concern feels pliable and elastic. The results should eliminate or reduce the stiffness, spasm, and tightness of the muscles.

Discipline and regularity are important factors in the benefits of all exercise programs. Stretching exercises are no different and should be performed two to three times each week in order to provide positive results to the body. Aids, such as stretching bands, can simplify the process and make it easier to perform some of the needed movements. (Example: drape a strap around the foot and pull the foot forward.) Often, the problem is not the exercise...or the tools used to help carry it out...but the discipline required to maintain a regular program. Should you need the assistance of a certified trainer, A.C.T. by Deese is there to design your program and to oversee your efforts to complete your goals. Call today to get started on the stretching program that will help resist aging and keep you limber and active. (336-617-5304)