Is Your Body As Flexible As It Was a Year Ago?
By Sandy Schroeder
Range of motion changes with age, but loss really starts much earlier. Many of us sit for long hours at work. The more we sit, the less we may move after work. Time slips away. Exercise fades.
Ask yourself how often you exercised last week.
- How many times did you walk, jog or run?
- When is the last time you biked or hiked?
- Do you work out a little, or not at all?
Muscles shorten and weaken when we move less. Then it’s harder to move joints through their full range of motion.
Loss is Gradual
Watch for clues. Do you feel stiff in the morning when you reach up or turn your neck to look over your shoulder? Stretching can help you hang on to your full range of motion.
Start with Simple Stretches
Gently stretch 10 minutes per day, two or three times per week, with your doctor’s approval. Adding stretches to your workday may also lower stress. Gentle stretches before bedtime may reduce leg cramps, according to researchers.
Consumer Reports On Health suggests these easy stretches to fight the effects of extended sitting.
Seated back stretch – Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor. Bend forward from the hips as far as possible. Relax neck and slide fingers down the legs. Hold for 30 seconds. Straighten up. Repeat three times.
Wall hip, calf stretch – Stand arm’s length from the wall. Place hands flat on the wall. Step forward with right leg. Bend right knee 45 degrees. Bend left knee slightly and push into wall to stretch left calf. To stretch hips, push hips down slightly. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat three times.
Later, you may want to move on to more intense stretches, with the approval of your doctor or chiropractor.
How Your Chiropractor Can Help
Getting chiropractic assistance early may help you avoid the consequences of losing flexibility. Your chiropractor sees what loss of range of motion can do every day. Sciatic leg pain or painful arthritic joints can quickly change daily routines.
The chiropractor will want to hear about your daily schedule, current pain, and health history. A spinal adjustment may be used to evaluate your spinal health. You may feel far-reaching pain relief, and a pervasive sense of well-being.
You may choose to do weekly 15-minute adjustments as you continue regular stretching exercises. You may also find yourself walking or biking more. The more you move the better everything gets.
The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you is ready when you are. Affordable healthcare plans, weekend and evening hours, and walk-in visits are available. No appointments are necessary.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.