Offering yoga and Pilates movements may encourage more people to stretch regularly and to enjoy the
benefits. Many people skip stretching because they believe they lack time or are too stiff, but there are
important reasons to prioritize flexibility training. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
encourages individuals to include daily flexibility exercises.

“Increasing your flexibility improves your ability to move easily,” said orthopedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Raymond Rocco Monto, MD, in an AAOS news release. “Some joints lose up to 50% of motion as we age. There are many ways to improve joint flexibility, including controlled stretches held for 10–30 seconds, stretches that rely on reflexes to produce deeper flexibility, as well as yoga and Pilates.”

The AAOS notes the following research-based findings on the benefits
of consistent stretching:

  • less back and joint pain
  • better circulation
  • improved joint motion
  • better athletic performance
  • improved muscle health

Sharing these benefits and introducing yoga and Pilates movements may encourage
more people to make time to stretch.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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