The ability of our body to move about freely is largely influenced by our physical health because as we age our muscle-skeleton and nervous system development affect not only our movement but also our body proportions, our posture, as well as body mass. Do you sometimes wish your body was as limber as that of a newborn and have all your extremities able to bend at will and most importantly bend and not cause pain? There are people who are incredibly flexible, what in layman’s language we like to call “double jointed” or hypermobile in medical terms. It’s a condition where the connective tissue has too much elasticity, and the joints flex further than the normal range of movement.
While having such joint mobility is great, especially with certain physical activities like yoga, gymnastics or dancing, some people who are double jointed often experience severe joint and muscle pain, they suffer extreme fatigue, their risks of prolapses and hernias are pretty high, and they have loose skin that’s prone to bruising. So, what’s the fun in that? Those of us who are, unfortunately, less limber can benefit from performing a few mobility exercises regularly, if not for a toned body, maybe for the following benefits:
There’s way too much tension in the world, and it shows in our gait, we feel it on our shoulders, on the neck, back, and joints. A simple face, jaw and neck mobility exercise can relieve residual tension from these areas, especially after having a day from hell.
Mobility exercises such as the bear crawl or the thoracic spine stretch use techniques that are designed to encourage movement and stabilization of the spine, upper back, hips, and shoulders. Having a limited range of motion in these areas can make everyday life very challenging and ensuring that they remain flexible can minimize the potential risks of injury.
Increase Range of Motion
Mobility exercises support functional movement and if you are all in knots and have a limited range of motion, movements such as bending, reaching, stretching, etc. become challenged. Increasing a full range of motion in all your joints is important if you want to improve proper blood circulation as well as muscle strength. The ROM will also help you maintain flexibility, reduce stiffness and joint pain, and help you enhance physical performance.
Decreases Risks of Injury
It is important to maintain a limber body, especially as we age because we become more susceptible to falls, which can lead to loss of mobility and independence. Not only do mobility exercises increase blood flow to the muscles, but they also improve overall circulation to the body so as to relieve both joint and muscle stiffness for better mobility. The thoracic spine mobility exercise is particularly helpful, especially when it comes to relieving joint pain and increasing flexibility because it increases blood flow to the spine and provides proper alignment of the head, neck, shoulders, and torso.
Decreases Joint Pain and Soreness
Joint pain and soreness can sometimes be debilitating enough to have a devastating impact on an individual’s quality of life. Such pain can be as a result of an underactive thyroid gland, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, sports injury, the list is endless. While there are medications you can take for such ailments, performing mobility exercises is perhaps the easiest way to manage and sometimes alleviate joint pain. People who experience joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, and fatigue, but exercise regularly have improved daily function, they notice a decreased depression and fatigue, including less severity of pain in their joints that enable them to get proper sleep.
Restrictions in the connective tissue, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments can significantly inhibit ankles, knees, hips, elbows, and spine movement. Performing mobility exercises such as neck and ankle rolls, hip circles, knee to chest stretches will not only improve flexibility in the affected joints, but such exercises will also strengthen the joints, protect them from possible injury, alleviate pain and improve range of motion.
Aids Good Posture
Poor posture can be as a result of genetics, injury, diseases, stress, daily habits such as sitting or standing while hunched over, including the choice of footwear. While things such as distressing and avoiding habits that take your body out of alignment such sitting up properly can help in avoiding bad posture, performing mobility exercises regularly can go a long way in improving your stance. Again, thoracic mobility exercises, as well as shoulder, pelvis, hip, core, feet and ankle exercises will loosen tight muscles, strengthen your core, mobilize your back, improve range of movement, and ultimately, improve your overall posture. These exercises take little time to perform, they require no equipment and can benefit individuals whose job limits movement and are continuously hunched over a desk 24/7.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]