Commit to Improving Your Mobility in 2021
Move more freely and easily without pain
Current events are forcing us to stay at home more. We’re sitting a lot more than we used to – at our laptops, on video calls, and then in front of the TV in the evenings. Many of us don’t even have the opportunity to commute to work anymore much less exercise regularly. Leading much more sedentary lifestyles means that it’s easy to take our mobility for granted. That is until bad habits, aging or old injuries catch up with you.
2020 was rough on our health and wellbeing in so many ways. But if you’d like to end 2021 in better shape physically than when you started it, then a commitment to improving your overall mobility is a must. Fortunately even without access to gyms and professional training equipment this is easy to achieve. So why not set yourself a goal of committing to work on your overall mobility during 2021 so that when you get back to your favourite exercise regime your body is ready and raring to go?
What is “mobility”?
Many people confuse mobility with flexibility: the two are connected but they’re not the same thing, although they both have implications for your overall levels of fitness. Many fitness professionals advocate working on your mobility before embarking on any exercise programme. This is because good mobility gives you a stable core as well as keeping your joints healthy, reducing your risk of injury and keeping you pain free.
While flexibility refers to your connective tissues’ ability to temporarily elongate in a “passive” state without pain (e.g. bending over to pick something up off the floor), you can think of mobility as your ability to move a muscle or muscle group through a range of motion in the joint socket with control (e.g. being able to balance on one leg when putting your shoes on). Good mobility is an indication of how well and efficiently you can move. Strength, coordination, and body awareness are also elements of mobility. Therefore it’s better to focus on overall mobility rather than flexibility alone.
Why work on your mobility?
Mobility is important for any training programme, and it’s just as vital as a means to improve your overall health even if you don’t or can’t work out regularly right now. Completing a few mobility exercises every day will help you avoid aches and pains. Here are the five main reasons why:
1. It can help with your overall posture
Sitting and standing with proper alignment improves blood flow, helps keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy, and supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Having good mobility means better posture, which in turn means you’re less likely to suffer from back or neck pain.
2. It can reduce the risk of injury
If you can’t move a joint freely through its full range of motion, then you’re putting yourself at an increased risk of injury. By focusing on your mobility now common niggles such as knee pain are less likely to happen when you resume your normal exercise routine.
3. It can reduce lower back pain
Most people will suffer some form of backpain as they get older and sitting at a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day doesn’t help. So increasing mobility in your lumbar spine and surrounding muscles is vital in managing pain.
4. It will reduce stress and put you in a good mood!
Humans are designed to move, not sit at a desk all day. Just a few adjustments to your daily routine can make you healthier and happier. Mobility exercises needn’t take a large chunk out of your day and you won’t need any special equipment. But they will make you feel better and more able to tackle your “To Do” list!
5. It will make you more aware of your body and help to alleviate everyday aches and pains
Sometimes you can push yourself too hard when exercising which can lead to aches and pains that won’t go away no matter how many stretches you do. But by consciously working on your mobility you will learn to recognise, feel, adjust and understand how your body moves and avoid placing it under undue physical stress.
What mobility exercises do you recommend?
There are numerous types of exercise that will improve your overall mobility and but choosing the ones that are right for you depends on what exercise you normally enjoy (if any) and whether or not you suffer from any recurring or ongoing pain or reduced range of motion.
I’m happy to have a chat any time to review your mobility issues and discuss what exercises would be right for you. I’m available for telephone consultations so please contact me for further information.