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How to Set Goals for Flexibility
Your flexibility can be attributed to genetics, gender, age, body shape and current level of flexibility. When you age, your flexibility can start to decrease, especially if you are inactive. You can improve your flexibility with regular training. The benefits of flexibility training include reduced risk of injury, improved posture, greater freedom of movement, reduced muscle tension and soreness, and physical and mental relaxation. Setting goals for flexibility can help you work toward accomplishing the many benefits that flexibility provides.
Create short-term goals. Decide how much you would like your flexibility to improve. Record your goals in a notebook or on the computer. Note down what exercises you will need to perform to improve your flexibility; how many days per week you will need to perform those exercises; along with how long to perform each exercise and for how many weeks.
Set a long-term goal. Decide what benefits you would like to achieve, long-term, from flexibility training. Record your goals. Choose the exercises you will need to perform to improve your flexibility and record them. Decide how many days per week you will need to perform those exercises, how long and for how many months.
Review your short-term goals every week and your long-term goals once a month. Be prepared to change your strategy if you meet your goals sooner or later than expected.
A good goal is written, specific, measurable, challenging, believable and has a specific deadline.
Take some time to warm-up before stretching to avoid injuries. Stretching cold muscles can increase your chance of injury. Warm-up for around five to 10 minutes before attempting to stretch. The American Council on Exercise recommends dynamic stretching at the end of your warm-up and static stretching at the end of your workout.
Catherine Christy began writing in 2000 for the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier. Christy is an American Council on Exercise-certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer and lifestyle and weight-management consultant. She is also certified as a yoga and pilates instructor. Christy holds a Master of Arts in community-health education from University of Northern Iowa.