Ever thought the term ‘move it or lose it’ was just a clever saying with little relevance to the real world?
If you did, you’re wrong. Studies show decreased physical activity may accelerate the loss of muscle mass and strength. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Physical activity, or lack thereof, has a direct bearing on an array of processes in the body ranging from cardiovascular health to digestion and immunity, and thanks to exercise-induced endorphins, even your mood. Put simply, you can lose far more than a sense of independence if your mobility isn’t where it should be.
But if mobility is so important for our general wellbeing, why can’t you just slap on a pair of sneakers and do a half-marathon? Well, you can, although if improving general mobility is your goal a half-marathon isn’t really necessary.
That’s because mobility isn’t defined by how far you can run or how high you can jump. It’s defined as the ability to perform universal human movements like squatting, bending, pushing, pulling, crawling and rolling – basic movements we all need to remain fully independent with a good quality of life. This is when strength and balance are important, as is an often forgotten yet critical component – flexibility. Without flexibility, specifically in the joints, many movements become difficult and can lead to, you guessed it, less mobility. So if your flexibility isn’t where it needs to be, maybe hold off on the half-marathons and look for physical activities that promote a wider range of movement.
Here’s some quick tips to supporting flexibility and staying mobile.
Use warm-up and cool-down stretches. Stretching allows muscles and joints to remain flexible which not only helps with a wider range of movement but also aids injury prevention.
Perform exercises that specifically help improve joint strength and mobility without the impact. If you know your joints aren’t amazing, key here is to keep them moving without the stress while building strong supporting muscles around them. Try the usual suspects like swimming or cycling but there’s also modern options at the gym like elliptical trainers.
Eat a healthy diet and reduce excess weight. Carrying extra weight puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your joints and can contribute to joint deterioration and reduced mobility. The joints that are affected the most by excess kilos are your lower back and knees.
Take steps to improve bone health & mobility. Literally. Weight bearing exercise such as walking improves bone density. Your bones become thinner and less dense as you age and protecting your bones against diseases like osteoporosis will help you stay mobile.
Take supplements to provide essential nutrients for joint health. Essential fatty acids such as those found in Nature’s Way Red Krill Oil are known to support blood flow to joints and to support the body’s healthy response to wear and tear. Red Krill Oil also contains Astaxanthin, a potent free radical scavenger which neutralises these damaging particles to support the health of your joints.
To learn more about Nature’s Way Red Krill Oil®, click here.