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Dr. Arnan Sisson, PT| January 12, 2023
Are you worried that you’re not moving around as easily as you used to?
Losing mobility as you age is a scary thought for some people.
Not being able to do basic things such as walk the dog, jobs around the house and going out with friends is a huge loss to someone who has been independent for many years.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom!
We’ve spoken to hundreds of patients who have experienced poor mobility and have been told by their doctor that it’s just part of getting old, but even they’ll tell you it can get better.
In this blog we explore the 6 types of exercise you can do to improve your mobility and even maintain it.
Why Is It Important To Improve Your Mobility?
Mobility is simply described as the way we get around and move, like walking, or the level of movement in your arms for example.
This is an integral part of people’s lives and enables them to look after themselves.
For people with poor mobility and stiff joints, it can be a challenge to carry out basic self-care tasks such as bathing or dressing.
To retain your independence in later life, you should maintain and improve your mobility, and the best way to do this is through exercise.
6 Types Of Exercise To Improve Your Mobility
The following types of exercise are low impact exercises that can be useful to anyone who is already experiencing some limited movement or is looking to improve their range of movement.
Swimming is an extremely popular way to keep fit.
And it has some fantastic perks too!
Water gives you a weightless feel when you’re in it. This weightlessness means exercising in water doesn’t put strain on your joints compared to land-based sports like jogging.
We often see runners in our clinics with knee injuries and sore joints.
While recovering from their injuries they go swimming to reduce impact on their sore spots, and they even end up carrying it on after they’re injury is resolved.
It’s an ideal way for people like you who suffer from aching or stiff joints to gain movements they never thought possible without experiencing pain during and after they’ve finished their activity.
Water aerobic classes may seem daunting to a newcomer. But it’s a huge amount of fun!
As well as helping you burn calories, aqua aerobics is great at making you more flexible and improving the range of movement in your arms and legs.
As if the benefits couldn’t get any better, water aerobics will hugely benefit your posture, muscle tone and even your balance.
It looks like it’s time to book in for the next class…
Although this time of year may not be the greatest for getting out for a walk, it’s certainly an easy way to improve your mobility.
For people over the age of 65, increasing the amount you walk is good for maintaining and improving your mobility.
Did you know that just 1 hour of walking a week can improve your mobility as you age?
It can also help increase the muscle strength in your lower body, which means you also have a lower risk of experiencing a fall.
If you’re going to try and get out for some extra walking after reading this, make sure to wrap up warm!
Pilates is a fantastic way to improve your mobility and the range of motion in your joints for anyone, but it is especially effective in older people.
Pilates focuses on dynamic movements rather than static stretches.
This style of movement encourages your body to stretch and be flexible as well as building up tone from repeated movement.
If the thought of a Pilates class fills you with dread, worry not!
You can even do Pilates from the comfort of your own home. If you’re technology savvy and have access to YouTube, there are hundreds of Pilates workouts that start at beginner all the way to expert.
It’s fantastic if you’re a little nervous about joining a class or you want to see the level you’re currently at.
This option is as much fun as it is fantastic at improving your mobility!
Going along to a dance class is a great way to stay mobile while also building up your general fitness and making new friends.
There are so many dance styles to choose from that offer you the best chance of increasing mobility, but these are some we’ve picked out!
Another advantage of attending a dance class is that you can start from beginner and learn a new skill as well as getting fitter and improving your mobility.
And if you don’t want to go to the class on your own, remember, it takes two to tango!
Most gyms and community centers will offer exercise classes with varying themes from aerobics to chair exercises.
A class that could be useful if you want to improve your mobility are ‘body pump’ classes.
These classes teach very light weightlifting designed to build up muscle tone slowly and gently while increasing the range of movement you get with your arms.
This type of class can also help to improve your balance, coordination and lowers your risk of experiencing a fall.
Not only are exercise classes a fantastic opportunity to exercise, they also enable you to explore new hobbies that you haven’t thought about doing before.
You can also make new friends, and maintain your independence into your old age.
How Can Physical Therapy Improve Your Mobility?
Have you noticed your mobility and range of movement getting worse?
As we get older it’s a well-known fact that we become stiffer and experience aches and pains from time to time.
Although your doctor may tell you this is just a part of getting old, we believe it doesn’t have to be.
At Sisson & Associates we treat hundreds of patients who experience nagging pains and nasty aches that impact their mobility and their ability to function independently.
But they can all tell you that mobility can be improved and if not, completely restored after treatment.
We offer a limited number of free discovery visits where you can talk to one of our friendly physical therapists and discover the best treatment options for you.
To arrange your free discovery visit with one of the team, complete our simple webform, or if you prefer to talk over the telephone, you can call us on (804) 493-3256 (accepting messages 24/7).
Other Free Resources To Improve Your Mobility
Click Here To Read More Of Our Physiotherapy Blog Articles
Click Here To Read – Are You Wearing the “Right” Shoes For Long Walks?
Click Here To Read – Is Sitting Really That Bad For You?
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