Exercises designed specifically for this purpose can help improve your range of motion, recover from injuries, and even prevent nasty falls as you age.
The idea of ”healthy aging” might remind you to monitor your cholesterol levels and take care of your heart health, or make sure you stay physically active. But with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that falls are the leading cause of injury and death among Americans over 65, there’s one type of exercise some trainers say we should all be doing now.
Mobility exercises are growing in popularity, and rightly so: The Cleveland Clinic says these exercises, designed simply to help you get around better and longer, can reduce your risk of falling. But what are mobility exercises, how to try them… and are they for everyone? The healthy @Reader’s Digest spoke to Len Glassman, CPT, CHN, a health and fitness expert and author, who broke it all down.
Inspired? Read 4 Gentle Mobility Exercises You Should Be Doing According to a Trainer
“‘Mobility’ refers to a joint’s ability to move actively or passively,” says Glassman. “Active mobility means moving your joints freely through your musculoskeletal system. Passive mobility uses an external factor, like the ground or another person, to apply.”
Glassman says almost anyone can try mobility exercises, but some people may experience limiting factors like what he calls “rigid bone structures” and “age-related changes in bone, cartilage, and scar tissue.” Before beginning any new exercise program, it’s always a good idea to speak to your licensed healthcare provider. And if you want to try the Glassman moves outlined below, maybe a certified personal trainer can help you get started.
That’s how long you should hold a yoga pose, says a 50-year-old expert
According to Glassman, the benefits of mobility training go beyond helping you age better. “Dynamic warm-ups that cycle through different movement patterns (think leg and arm circles, core rotations, and deep-bodyweight squats) can increase synovial fluid in the joint capsule, which cushions the ends of the bones and reduces friction as you move your joints and improves joint mobility.” blood flow,” he says. “Mobility training essentially prepares our bodies for the stress of more intense exercise.”
Glassman adds that everyone can benefit from mobility training – there are just a few facts to keep in mind. For example, because women tend to have a greater range of motion in their joints, they are more prone to sprained ankles or other foot injuries. Glassman says that active women in particular can benefit from mobility exercises to reduce joint-related injuries.
How to exercise after Covid-19: Lung and exercise science doctors share latest insights
“Dynamic warm-ups designed to be gentle on the joint surfaces” are the best way to increase mobility, Glassman suggests. He recommends hip circles (standing on one leg, using a countertop for support, and swinging the other leg gently to one side in a circle), heel-to-toe walking, and arm circles and arm swings as a few simple mobility exercises to incorporate warm-ups into your workout .
He adds that mobility exercises are helpful because they target an important daily function — basic movement. But people should “be aware of and avoid the limiting factors of the joints, e.g. When that happens, he says, don’t pressure yourself: calm down with what you just did and listen to your body.
Sign up to receive more daily health and wellness inspiration The healthy @Reader’s Digest Newsletter. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and read on:
Mobility exercises can help improve your range of motion, recover from injuries, and even prevent nasty falls as you age.