Happy Friday everyone! I have a question for you: If you exercise regularly, what type of workouts do you normally do? Do you run several days a week? Lift weights or do bodyweight resistance training? Maybe you attend a high-intensity Bootcamp or CrossFit class. But how often do you train for balance, mobility and range of motion? If you’re like me, not often enough.
Having worked with clients spanning all age groups, I’ve been lucky enough to get a snapshot of the typical progression (or regression, really) of physical functionality that happens with aging. While I have witnessed loss of aerobic function and strength, I’ve never seen it reach the point where it seriously impairs the ability to carry out the activities of daily living. That’s not the case with balance, mobility and range of motion, though. I’ve worked with clients who have complained of difficulty climbing or descending stairs due to poor balance, or feeling awkward getting in and out of their car because they’d lost so much range of motion in their hips. The scary part is that these clients weren’t what I would consider old. It’s become evident to me that the current nature of our collective work, which involves sitting down for many hours a day, shoulders rounded forward and heads bent to look at a computer screen, is causing a premature loss of functional fitness that’s seriously impairing our quality of life. Fortunately, there is something we can do about it!
I developed a series of five exercises that anyone can do in under 10 minutes. If practiced regularly, this sequence can help you maintain your sense of balance, your range of motion in the hips, knees, spine and shoulders, and improve your overall mobility. This is as helpful for people in their thirties as it is for those in their eighties. I’ve started doing it as a warm-up before my strength training workouts, and I do it as a stand-alone sequence in the morning on days when I have a run or bike ride scheduled. Get the detailed instructions and a little more background on the benefits of the workout in my latest article for NextAvenue, here.