It’s undeniable that sitting is a normal daily practice for everyone, but poor posture is also often inevitable and can do a number of things on our mobility and how our body functions. We’re kicking off Exercise & Joint Mobility Month with some tips on how you can strengthen your muscles, increase joint mobility, and improve your overall health.
1. Warm Up Before Your Next Workout
A warm up is the act of prepping your body for a workout or an athletic activity by exercising or practicing a short time beforehand. The idea of a warm up is to gradually increase circulation throughout the body to help prevent injuries and any other aches and pains that come with exercise. Warming up with gentle movements helps get your body ready for a workout. A proper warm up safely prepares the body for the increased demands of exercise. Simple exercises such as side bends, shoulder shrugs, jumping jacks, overhead stretches, and jogging are all great ways to warm up before you workout.
2. Cardio Is Everything
Cardio is any exercise that raises your heart rate, and helps your most important muscle, your heart. Your heart is a muscle, therefore working it makes it stronger, and a stronger cardiovascular system means more oxygen is delivered to cells in your muscles. This enables your cells to burn more fat during both exercise and inactivity. Getting active strengthens the muscles that support your joints. This movement makes them stronger and stronger muscles make for a more efficient and healthy body. Swimming, running, basketball, or any other engaging activity you enjoy are great ways to work your muscles.
3. Balance & Body Awareness
Yoga and Tai Chi are examples of exercises that improve body awareness, that can increase coordination and balance, helps us relax and can give a sense of where joints are positioned. Unlike a traditional workout, yoga and tai chi focus on precise movements that allow the body to slowly transition from one position to the next. Both practices attempt to coordinate the muscles, bones, heart, and mind with the positive energy that surrounds the body. Plus, they include flexibility and range-of-motion moves, which boosts joint flexibility and joint function. Although both have similar goals, a comparison of the benefits of tai chi and yoga reveals interesting differences.
4. Strengthening Exercises
Exercises to strengthen the body’s joints work by building the muscles around the joints for greater joint stability. Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Strengthening exercises such as weight training help you build the muscles that support your joints. Joint strengthening exercises also keep tendons and ligaments flexible, reducing the risk of a strain or sprain and keeping a joint’s range of motion at its best You can use free-weights, weight machines, or your own body weight. Start with weights that you can lift 12 to 15 times without slouching or poor form.
We touched on a few ways you can improve your health and mobility that are low impact or aggressive depending on your goals. We urge you to adopt a regular workout routine you genuinely enjoy and remember to work within your abilities but also challenge yourself. We believe when you’re working towards becoming healthier in one aspect of life, you’ll start to notice yourself making an effort to make healthier choices in other aspects of your everyday routine, too.