Fitness · Health

Fitness Saturday: Mobility for Living!

Jonathan for web

This post is part of our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, relays the importance of mobility as we age and shares calisthenic type exercises to adapt in our everyday routine.

 

mobility imageAs I look forward to completing my 60th year on this planet, I am more personally aware of how aging impacts my body. Every morning when I get up, right away I feel the stiffness in my muscles and joints, and it takes a full ten minutes in the hot shower to get my body to start to feel normal again. As I dry off, I use the time to do a little stretching; putting my leg up on the bed and bending over gently, and holding the towel behind my back and lifting my arms up to stretch my chest. Having this little routine helps me a lot and makes me ready to face the day.

Most people my age, even those who exercise regularly, will have problems with stiffness and restrictions in range of motion. In addition, many people may exhibit poor balance and mental sluggishness due to poor blood circulation. After years of working with clients my age and older, I have come to realize that we really need focus in order to stay mobile or our quality of life can suffer.

You Got to Move It!
As we age, no matter what our occupations, it is wise for us to have a few calisthenic type exercises that we do everyday as a routine. This is only moderate exercise but it can really help us with mobility, relieve stiffness, aid in getting the blood circulating, and bring alertness back.

Below are eight mobility exercises that only take 10-20 seconds each and can be done anywhere, anytime, and especially to get the day started or as a mid-day pick-up.

RELATED: Anti-Sitting Exercises — Remedy for Modern Living

1. Arm Breaths
Stand in a neutral parallel stance and inhale as you lift your arms up from your sides. Exhale as you bring them back down. Repeat four times. Focus on inhaling and exhaling fully and feeling your arms long and loose.

2. Overhead Reaches
Start standing with arms up, then reach one arm higher than the other for one second, then switch. Alternate these reaches 10 times. Focus on reaching through your whole side body as well as your arm, and spread your fingers as you reach to help stretch your hands.

3. Head Turns, Tilts and Half-Circles
Standing with arms by your sides, turn your head from side to side in an easy, smooth rhythm. Repeat 10 times. Then tilt your head slightly to one side for one second, then repeat to other side. Repeat three times to each side using gentle force. Then tilt to one side and hold for three seconds, deepening into the stretch by exhaling and relaxing the jaw completely. Repeat three times to each side. Lastly, slowly circle your head from one side to the other, doing a half-circle in front, and repeat the other way. Avoid circling or dropping the head to the back. Repeat two times each way.

RELATED: Healthy Hips — Move It or Lose It

4. Shoulder Circles
From standing or sitting, circle your shoulders four times to the back, and four times to the front. Leave your arms straight and loose and breathe normally. Read More »

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  • Lori MATLIN March 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    A well written, helpful, encouraging article. A positive message

    Reply