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Flexibility is the amount of movement you have around a joint, like your knee or hip. Being flexible helps you have safe and healthy joints and muscles. Since not all joints are the same, just because you’re flexible in one joint doesn’t mean you’ll be flexible in others.

Flexibility can help increase your quality of life:

  • As you become more flexible, activities like tying your shoes or reaching for something on a top shelf will become easier.
  • Flexibility helps you move with less discomfort and can prevent some of the pain you feel as you get older.
  • Flexibility helps keep your joints movable and reduces your risk of injury.
  • If you have reduced flexibility, everyday movements can be difficult, and even uncomfortable.
  • Flexibility can help reduce stress.

There are lots of activities that will help you keep or increase your flexibility:

  • Any movement that involves bending or reaching and gently stretches your muscles is good for flexibility.
  • You can do stretching exercises for specific muscles and joints, or you can take up an activity like yoga, Tai Chi, dancing, or gardening.
  • Stretch slowly and gently rather than making quick, jerky movements.
  • Avoid injuries by never stretching to the point of pain.
  • When stretching, if the movement is uncomfortable, it's not helping you become more flexible.

Last Reviewed: March 2017

©2017 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a health professional. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.