flexible become moreFlexibility is a cornerstone of health, especially the older you get. While you don’t have to be a contortionist, you would like to be able to touch your toes again.

So, to become more flexible, you stretch every morning when you first wake up, but is that really enough?

That morning stretch is one way to become more flexible – but it’s not the only way.

Read on to learn more tips that will help you become even more flexible…

Movement Matters to Flexibility

It may seem obvious, but that’s because it’s the most important way to become more flexible – keep moving! Intentional movement with the specific goal of improving flexibility is one of the most important things you can do.

1. Yes, stretch – but pay attention to timing. Your morning stretches may feel wonderful and help get the blood flowing, but they aren’t the most effective when it comes to becoming more flexible. Rather than “static stretching” or stretching before your muscles are warmed up, get moving a little bit first. Wake your muscles up, then stretch. These stretches can be a part of your warm up, but they shouldn’t be the only part. And then, to really become more flexible, make sure you stretch after your workouts, too. Even if it’s “just” a walk. You’ve used your muscles and gotten your heart pumping – your muscles deserve a good, deep stretch for doing all that hard work.

2. Try yoga. The positions in this ancient art can help you become more flexible at your own pace. There are movements that are appropriate for every level of fitness and flexibility, so don’t be intimidated by pictures of people twisted in human pretzels. One of the benefits of yoga is it helps to improve upper and lower body flexibility. Plus, yoga is good for stress reduction, strength training, balance, and weight loss, as well!

3. Take a dance class. If you prefer ballroom, ballet, or Zumba, dancing is a fun, upbeat way to get more flexible. The fluid movements use your muscles in such a way that increases range of motion and flow. And you don’t even need a partner! Just find a class and get with the rhythm.

Daily Activities Improve Flexibility, Too

Very few people can go to a yoga or a dance class every day. Luckily, there are simple, routine steps you can take to become more flexible, as well.

4. Watch your posture. When you slump, you constrict your muscles. Constricted muscles are inflexible muscles. By straightening your back, squaring your shoulders, and lifting your neck, you extend the muscles, joints, and vertebrae, rather than contracting them.

5. Sleep on your back. If you’re a side or stomach sleeper, this one might feel strange at first, but it really should work to help you become more flexible. Sleeping on your back helps your spine decompress and realign itself into a neutral position before starting a new day in the morning.

6. Don’t take (physical) shortcuts. Make sure you are using full range of motion every time you move. What does this mean? Go ahead and extend your arm all the way straight when you’re picking something up, rather than leaning forward and keeping your elbow or shoulder bent. Straighten your back all the way instead of just halfway. In other words, don’t take physical shortcuts. It may feel as if you’re exaggerating every motion (because, in fairness, you are) but it will help you become more flexible in the long run.

Food and Flexibility Go Hand in Hand

Think there’s nothing you can eat that will help you become more flexible? Think again…

7. Spirulina. Starting your morning with a fruit and veggie smoothie is a delicious, nutritious way to get your day off to a great start. Add spirulina to that smoothie, and you’ve got a great way to become more flexible, too. The vitamins in spirulina give your muscles the support they need and help reduce cramping, so you can reach just a little farther every day.

8. Water. Keep your joints lubricated, so they move freely and fully. Keep your muscles healthy and hydrated. Keep your whole body healthy and performing up to your standards. All just by drinking water.

9. Supplements. Yes, there really are supplements that help with flexibility! Individual vitamins and minerals like B-12, or formulas like LunaFlex PM, can help support your joints which in turn helps you become more flexible.

While we would never tell you to give your light morning stretches, there is more you can do to become more flexible. Use these nine tips and experience what true flexibility feels like.