Remember a time when you bounced out of bed and started your day without a second thought to stiff joints or an achy back? Maybe you even threw on a pair of running shoes and headed out for a jog (probably without even stretching first).
As we get older our joints and muscle start to feel stiff. Sometimes this is because we don't exercise regularly, we aren't as active as we used to be, or aren't able to recover as well after we do exercise.
It's true that our joints can become less flexible as lubricating fluid inside them decreases and cartilage wears thin. However, stiffness doesn't have to be an inevitable part of getting older.
In spite of the changes that occur in our bodies, our ability to move with ease doesn't have to directly decline in relation to how old you are. In fact, there are a lot of other factors that contribute to stiffness and many things we can control (age not being one of them) to remain active and moving.
Here are some ways to decrease stiffness and move with ease this year:
1. Drink More Water
Seventy percent of your muscles are water, so it makes sense that not drinking enough fluids and dehydration lead to stiff muscles. Drink a large glass of water first thing to kick-start your day.
2. Move Frequently
Leaving your muscles in one position for a prolonged period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours) can cause them to stiffen. Change positions and move frequently throughout your day to keep blood pumping through your muscles and fluid lubricating your joints.
3. Walk 10 Minutes
Just ten minutes of walking can warm up your muscles, calm your mind, and loosen up joints. If you find time to do this in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the evening you have gotten in 30 minutes of exercise without even planning for it.
4. Stretch in the Morning
Start your day with some stretches in bed before your feet hit the floor if you feel really stiff in the morning. Perform single knee to chest pulls, hip lifts, spinal twists, and forward fold. So, go ahead and hit the snooze button, but stretch for a few minutes instead of going back to sleep.
5. Decrease Stress
When we are stressed out, our bodies tighten up as preparation for an emergency situation. The prolonged daily stress we experience in our modern lives can lead to maintaining a tight posture and a strain on the muscles.
6. Take Warm Bath
A warm Epsom salt bath with relax your mind to help you de-stress. The magnesium in the Epsom salts will also help relax your muscles and allow you to sleep better at night. All around, this will make for better movement in the morning.
So, are you ready to move with ease again?
That stiffness in your joints - neck, shoulders, back, or knees - is a sign that something needs to be done. It's not be ignored! The sad fact is that many people just accept it as a normal part of aging.
If you can implement a few of these into your everyday life, you will be amazed how you will start to move with more ease. In fact, not only will your movement improve but your quality of life as well.
Don’t accept stiffness as part of life, if you do and you don’t do anything about it, it’s likely to worsen and affect your ability to remain active and independent for many years to come.
If you’re experiencing stiffness in your back which restricts your ability to move without pain, click below to download our free back pain tips guide which includes actionable tips we give our patients every day at Peak Potential. Click the link below to get your free copy.