Your body’s mobility can have a big impact on your life. Without good mobility – that is, the ability to move freely and easily – your quality of life suffers, just ask someone with a nagging injury that limits their movement.
Who doesn’t want to live life to the fullest? To be pain and injury free? That said, I’m a realist and know niggling injuries are sometimes going to creep in, no matter how hard you try and how good you are with your stretching, foam rolling etc.
Injuries happen, sometimes they are out of your control. But, if you go to tie your shoelace and you throw your back out, or pick up the kids and hurt your neck – these annoying and quite often debilitating injuries may be within your control to prevent. You CAN minimise the chance of injuries happening and it’s surprisingly easy to build the body awareness you need in order to do so.
Tips to improve your mobility
Here are a few simple ways to improve your mobility and enjoy life, injury and pain-free.
- Spend less time sitting down.
When you spend a lot of time sedentary your hips, lower back, shoulders and neck are going to stiffen up reducing the range of movement, which will negatively impact mobility. Consider getting yourself a stand-up desk or spend a few minutes stretching every half an hour. I’ve heard of people setting a ‘movement’ alarm every hour to get them into the habit of this.
- Practice strength training through the full range of motion.
Training through a full range of movement is going to improve and keep your mobility and flexibility. The more your body moves through its complete range, the more comfortable it becomes in those positions allowing more freedom of movement.
- Do weighted mobility training.
Weighted mobility builds joint strength and flexibility through full range of movement. It strengthens your ligaments and tendons to increase resilience in the body. This is better to do before training than static stretching.
- Drink more water.
This one might not sound as obvious but dehydration can cause muscle tightness and cramping. In hot and humid climates where sweating occurs most of the day, try adding a sugar-free electrolyte to keep yourself balanced. If you eat healthily and aren’t getting enough sodium, try adding some coloured salts to your meal.
- Learn to recognise and reduce stress triggers.
Stress or anxiety can cause your body to feel tense which restricts mobility. Stress plays a big role in lower back and neck pain but is easily avoided. Being mindful of your stress indicators eg. tense shoulders, frowning or biting your nails will help you know quickly when it’s time to relax. Make a conscious effort to recognise the triggers. If you need a tool to help you clear your mind, download this great free mindfulness app from Stop, Breathe, Think.
Get out there and live.