For decades, range of motion exercises have been prescribed for people with illnesses that affect the joints as well as for those with joint injuries. These particular types of movements ensure that our joints remain flexible and can move in the correct manner to maximize their function.
But range of motion exercises are not just for people with arthritis or injuries. We all can become a bit stiff if we don’t routinely utilize the full spectrum of joint movement. These exercises can be as helpful for the person who remains immobile most of the day in front of a computer as they are for someone with joints that are deteriorating.
This article from the Livestrong website offers a variety of routines that can help keep joints flexible. Be sure to remember that your neck and spine can benefit from many of these gentle exercises as well, since these are areas that can become quite stiff due to routine tasks at work and at home.
Here are some movements that are specific to our spine. I know that I carry most of my tension in my upper lumbar area as well as in my neck, and these excises help to melt the tension away as the gentle stretching loosens up the nearby muscles.
Another important aspect of keeping our joints flexible is to maintain an optimal level of hydration. Water can help to cushion our joints and prevent them from stiffening. If you are not drinking enough fluids, you can seriously limit your body in a number of ways.
Think of water as a lubricant, because that is the effect it has on our joints. Of course there are a host of other benefits of drinking enough water as well including helping to eliminate toxins and keeping our digestive tract “moving” properly.
Before you begin any kind of exercise routine no matter how gentle it is, please be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to make certain exercise is appropriate for your condition. If you are just recovering from a serious illness or injury, perhaps a physical or occupational therapist could coach you on some routines you could do on your own at home.
I hope your Saturday is spirited and that you are able to work some new, flexibility-increasing moves into your day.