By Avrie McCumber
The stresses and schedule of everyday life are a major concern for our bodies. Emmanuel Morales is on a mission to counteract that by teaching college students how to be physically mobile and flexible.
You can catch Morales every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC), room 205, at California State University, San Bernardino. Morales works as a personal trainer and group instructor at CSUSB. In an interview with Morales, the importance of mobility was a major concern and priority of his.
Q: Why is mobility important?
A: Mobility to me equals physical freedom. The more limber and supple you are now, the longer you’ll have that range of motion into your later years. Tight muscles and joint complexes may lead to sports or athletics injuries. Doing what you can to prevent that could save you from the recovery time. It’s also important to note that mobility requires strength as well. Being too flexible in certain areas while weak in others may cause an injury as well. It’s a very interesting balance. I think people should work on their mobility to carry healthy habits in their day-to-day life and for years to come.
Q: Why do you think students struggle with their body’s mobility?
A: I think students struggle with mobility because of stress and the common positions we put our bodies in, such as sitting for long hours and craning our necks with our phones and laptops. My class focuses on flexibility and mobility training. We work on stretches and strengthening exercises that increase the range of motion for commonly tight areas and joints.
Q: Who is your class for?
A: Anyone can join! I provide different options and tools to help people get a good stretch wherever they are. If you’re a more flexible individual, I also provide some extra tips to keep and increase your range of motion.
Q: What is your advice for people who may be struggling with their flexibility and mobility?
A: My advice for people looking to increase flexibility and mobility is patience and warmth, figuratively and literally. Being flexible takes time and consistency, like gaining muscles or new skills. Being cold and not ready to do stretches could cause strain. I recommend some slight movement beforehand. Remember to be patient with yourself. Our bodies are amazing and the things we can accomplish are stunning, but it takes time. So be warm to yourself.
Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know?
A: I want people to consider how often we forget the wonderful things our bodies are.
We usually forget because we tend to move from point A to point B, sit in the same places, and do the same things again and again. But there are thousands of points between one movement and the next, there are hundreds of muscle fibers activating and firing every second. Stretching and moving in new ways can remind us how much control we have over ourselves and what we can accomplish. Movement is heavily tied to choice. Sometimes knowing we can choose simple things like stretching can remind us we can choose incredible things like our dreams and goals.
Mobility is important to the growth and sustainability of the human body. The first step is going out there and moving. Luckily anyone at CSUSB can attend.
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