Volume 11, Number 8
8 November 2004

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Fitness Tips

by Dr. Alper Uğraş

Physical Education and Sports Center

Developing Your Flexibility Program

Flexibility is a very important part of physical fitness. It is the ability of a person to move body joints through a maximum range of motion without undue strain. It is not a general factor, but is specific to given joints, spots, and physical activities.

Flexibility is important for the average person because of its relationship to health and a person’s working capacity. Short muscles can become sore muscles when exposed to physical exertion. In addition, inflexible joints and muscles can limit working efficiency and cause problems such as those associated with the lower back. Flexibility is related to activity, body size, age, and sex. Active people tend to be more flexible than inactive people. The soft tissues or joints tend to shrink and lose extensibility when the muscles are maintained in a shortened position.

Physical activity with wide ranges of movement will help prevent the loss of extensibility. An increase in body fat usually decreases flexibility and girls are generally more flexible than boys of the same age. Also, as a person grows older there is a gradual decrease in flexibility as the soft tissues lose their extensibility.

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