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5 simple ways to improve mobility and reduce joint pain

Category: News
An older man runs up a hill

It’s natural for your body to experience wear and tear as you get older, and you could find that you’re not as active as you used to be.

This may have a big effect on your lifestyle, especially if you experience regular mobility issues and joint pain. Unfortunately, this might be more common than you realise.

According to the London Clinic, 29% of UK adults suffer from joint pain of some kind. Many people assume this is a natural part of aging you can’t avoid.

Luckily, that isn’t true. Joint pain is often caused by daily habits and lifestyle factors and with some simple changes, you may be able to find relief.

Read on to learn five simple ways to improve mobility and reduce joint pain.

1. Touch your toes every day

Trying to touch your toes is a very easy measure of how flexible you are. This basic action engages many muscles and joints in the body at once and repeating it regularly can help you improve mobility.

It could be beneficial to attempt to touch your toes once in the morning and once at night. Keep your legs straight and reach down towards your toes. You might not be able to touch them to begin with, so stretch as far as you can and hold the position for around 10 seconds.

If you repeat this once or twice a day, you may find that the mobility in your legs and back improves and you see a decrease in stiffness and joint pain.

You can also use the toe touch to measure the effects of other stretches and exercises you incorporate into your routine.

2. Sit cross-legged against a wall

Many people experience pain in their back and hips as they live a sedentary life, often working at a desk.

Sitting cross-legged against a wall could help you counteract the effects of your lifestyle and prevent pain in the hips, spine, and neck.

Start by sitting cross-legged with your back pushed against the wall. You are aiming to get your back flat against the wall to straighten your spine. When you are in this position, bring your chin down to touch your chest.

Repeating this stretch for a few minutes each day could help you improve your posture and mobility, particularly if you work in an office setting.

3. Wear trainers more often

You might associate trainers with sport, but some experts suggest you should wear them more often if you want to reduce joint pain.

Walking around day to day puts pressure on your ankles, knees, and hips, especially if you wear shoes that don’t offer much support. If you have an active lifestyle, you may want to consider wearing running trainers more often to protect your joints.

You could ask for advice at a running shop as they may be able to identify which type of trainers will best support you based on your posture and how you walk.

Even if you don’t wear trainers, consider how much support your shoes offer you and choose footwear that absorbs the impact as you move around.

4. Walk or run regularly

It’s a common misconception that excessive walking or running causes damage to your joints and leads to problems later in life.

Regular walking or running can actually help to strengthen the muscles and improve mobility as you use the joints more dynamically. Ultimately, this might reduce your chances of pain and inflexibility as you get older.

That said, it’s crucial that you wear the correct footwear and increase the intensity and distance of your activity gradually. This allows the muscles to grow and support the joints. Yet, if you push yourself too far when you first start a regular practice, you could injure yourself.

It is equally important to stretch after running or walking long distances or your muscles could become tight, meaning you lose mobility.

5. Change your posture regularly

You may know that poor posture can lead to musculoskeletal issues, and this is a common problem for people that work at a desk all day.

Often, you may receive advice about correcting your posture and sitting with a straight back. While this could be beneficial and exercises such as sitting cross-legged against a wall can help, the problem is not always the specific sitting position.

Instead, joint and muscle pain could be caused by the length of time that you remain in the same position.

So, even if you sit with “good” posture all day, you could put excess stress on your spine and the muscles in your back and core because you’re not moving enough.

That’s why changing your posture regularly is important. Everybody is different and slouching is not necessarily harmful if that’s how your body naturally sits, provided you don’t remain in the same position all day.

Being aware of how you sit and shifting your position slightly every 20 to 30 minutes could help you stay more flexible and reduce joint pain.

By introducing these basic exercises and behaviours to your daily routine, you may be able to increase your mobility and stay more active as you get older.

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