Why flexercise is the latest self-care activity you need to try
Described as meditation in motion, flexercise is part exercise, part dance, and it’s tipped to be the next big thing in wellness trends.
When Pintrest Predicts issued its forecasts report for 2022, right there among the skyrocketing slow movement trends was the intriguing sounding flexercise.
“Low impact is the new high impact,” informed the social media platform report.
“This year, people of all ages will fall in love with more mellow ways to move their bodies.”
It seems two years of pandemic lockdowns, where we’ve had to reconsider how we exercise, has left more than a few of us wanting smarter ways to move our bodies.
And with science showing that activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help us prevent injuries and pain and maintain a range of motion in our joints, flexercise was ticking many wellness boxes.
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So what exactly is flexercise?
For the founder of Flexersize online training program, Eley May, the Pintrest findings come as no surprise.
With a background in competitive rhythmic gymnastics and professional dancing, the certified personal trainer says she’s seen firsthand the benefits of combining flexibility and exercise into moves like back bends and front and side splits.
“Flexibility training is so much more than just stretching,” Eley says.
“When your body feels tight, it’s actually very likely there are weaknesses or imbalances that need support.
“Our drills combine stretch, strength, stability, mobility and flexibility to help people reach their full potential.”
Eley says that contrary to popular belief that strength training inhibits flexibility, she’s noticed her body further opening up as she developed power and stability in her movement, also assisting her posture and balance.
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Benefits of flexercise are more than physical
For Monica Lam, a Melbourne-based mental health clinician, flexercise has improved not only her physical but her mental health too.
“My hobby is pole-dancing and a lot of my instructors had trained with Eley, so I signed up to try and improve my front split,” Monica says.
“As well as helping me find a whole new range of motion, flexercise taught me to check in mentally with how I was feeling physically.
“It’s a mindset thing — focusing on all the finer details of your movement by slowing down, literally makes you breathe and relax.
“Even at work, my job is quite fast-paced, but instead of pacing around being fidgety, I’m thinking more about what I’m doing, how I’m holding myself and it makes me calmer.”
An extra bonus, Monica says, is nailing the splits and her back bends.
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How to add flexercise to your routine
Want to get involved in this slower movement trend?
Built on ideologies of strong mind, body, and spirit, and aiming for a balanced shifting of body weight and muscle relaxation, there are number of ways you can adopt flexercise principles in your activity.
Try re-engaging with Pilates, Tai Chi or yoga online, or in the gym, or perhaps a body balance class which is a combination of all three.
The core of flexersize is accessible and convenient fitness, with an emphasis on consciously moving your body even if it’s just where and when you can, says Eley.
“I’d say for people who want to better understand their movement and be really connected to their bodies, my classes help break down the barriers,” she says.
“The mind and body are so connected — it’s quite overwhelming for me to see people achieve things they didn’t think they could do, with strength and flexibility they didn’t know they were capable of.”
Written by Liz McGrath.