Why it’s important to maintain your mobility during the festive break – plus a free download!
2021 has been a rough ride so you can be forgiven for just wanting to camp out on the sofa for the duration of the Christmas break. But a lot of us lose mobility when we spend too much time being inactive.
Any break in routine can often result in us becoming more sedentary, and our bodies tend to adapt to the positions we stay in the most. Eventually, we lose the ability to sit or stand up straight and keep our shoulders back because our body has adapted to that slouched posture position.
The good news is that, regardless of your fitness levels or how many mince pies you intend to consume over the next few weeks, you can still work on your mobility in just a few minutes every day, even if you’re taking a break from your usual workout routine. Then when you return to normal in the New Year, you will still have a full range of motion in your muscles and joints, and you’ll be able to move freely without placing any stress on your body.
What is mobility?
Mobility is how much your joints can move in their sockets, as opposed to flexibility which is connective tissues’ ability to temporarily elongate in a “passive” state (or stretch) without pain. And it’s important for a lot of everyday activities, as well as exercise.
Mobility training can also improve your overall quality of life, since improving the ease of motion you feel during an exercise can improve the ease of motion you feel doing everyday tasks.
So, when you do mobility exercises, you will have a greater sense of how you move, enhancing your balance, alignment and metabolism. And sometimes the smallest and gentlest mobility exercises can have the biggest impact, so there’s no need to “go for the burn” or over-exert yourself.
But I want to relax! Why should I do mobility exercises?
As tempting as it is to sit in front of Netflix until it asks if you’re still watching, combine that with a surfeit of turkey and pudding with barely any active movement, and your joints and muscles will be adversely affected. Plus, according to The British Heart Foundation, physical inactivity can also increase the risk of heart and circulatory diseases.
Not actively using your muscles means the passive structures suffer, bones become more brittle, ligaments lose collagen and become weak. And – as I said earlier - your body adapts to its circumstances, so the more you don’t move, the more you will struggle to move when you want or need to.
But if you commit to working on your mobility for just a few minutes every day it will help you to maintain stability in your joints, strength in your muscles, and stop your body from seizing up.
Plus you will sleep better and burn off those excess calories!
What are the best mobility exercises?
My easy and practical mobility exercises are all about increasing your range of motion and they take hardly any time: just 15 minutes a day for a few stretches will keep you active for longer, soothing any aches and niggles and keeping your joints moving. There are seven exercises in total and you won’t need any special equipment but you will need a chair for most of them.
I’ve created this FREE exercise sheet for you to download and keep.
If you dedicate a set daily time to complete these movements it will help to provide structure to your day, which is useful at a time of year when the days can sometimes blur into one. Why not do them in the mornings so you have the rest of the day to relax?
And remember, a short and sweet burst of daily movement is better than nothing at all, and you’ll emerge at the other end of the holiday break with well-oiled muscles and joints, ready to jump back into your usual routine.
Mobility Therapies is dedicated to keeping you moving with ease. I use a holistic approach to help you achieve long-term wellness and improve your physical and mental health and sporting performance.