Flexibility and mobility are two key factors of healthy living that are frequently overlooked. I can tell you from my experience that while people tend to focus on their diet and exercise routines, they place less emphasis on improving their flexibility and mobility as part of their overall health and wellbeing.
I can put my hand up and say that I have been guilty of this in the past, but as I have aged and started listening to my body, I have realised how vital it is not take our mobility for granted and the importance of having supple joints! Being flexible and having full joint mobility can have many positive health benefits, including reducing day-to-day joint aches and pains.
Over the past three months with my foot injury, I have struggled with a lot of aches and pains and have needed to work around my niggles to stay on top of my goals. Flexibility and mobility became hands down the most important part of my overall routine, and I focused on the right movements to warm up my joints before a session and stretching afterwards to alleviate pain and improve my mobility.
Mobility is a crucial aspect of everyday life and one that is often taken for granted. Being mobile and having healthy joints isn’t only important when it comes to exercise – it also helps you in everyday life picking up the kids, carrying them around or just keeping up with them while they play. We often forget the strain this can place on our bodies every day!
I know that in my case, carrying Leo around a lot meant that I needed to be strong and able to not only hold his weight, but also carry him in a way that I wouldn’t injure myself. Also, how about carrying your groceries or being able to lift heavy suitcases when you are travelling? It’s in these moments, where people simply carry out daily tasks, that a lot of people end up injuring themselves. How many times have you heard someone say, ‘I put my back out moving the washing machine or shifting the couch’? I have heard it loads, and my reply is always I don’t think it was that exact thing that did the damage. The damage is in the years of not prioritising your mobility and flexibility.
If you are not able to move a joint freely through its full range of motion, then you are already putting yourself at an increased risk of injury before even attempting to pick up a weight and load that range of motion. There should be a period of time either before/after training or even on a separate day that is dedicated to improving mobility.
As little as 5-10 minutes daily can be enough to see improvement. Below is a short video demonstration of how I got my joits warm and ready for a workout.
Below are 4 reasons why mobility and flexibility are important aspects of your overall health and wellbeing:
1. Reduces risk of injury
This should be a given and is by far the most important. Any restrictions to a freely moving joint pose a possible risk of injury.
2. Keeps joints healthy
When doing mobility exercises, the joint being targeted is being “warmed up.” What is actually happening is that blood is being moved to the surrounding tissues and synovial fluid (fluid in our joints which helps them glide) is shuttled into the working joint.
3. Helps build strength
If our movement is restricted in a squat for example, and we can only go down to just above parallel, how strong would the squat be through its full range of motion if we are not able to train the bottom quarter of the movement? Not very strong at all. This logic can be applied to every exercise as well. If our mobility is limiting a full range of motion, then we cannot strengthen all parts of the movement.
4. Time efficient
Like I said earlier, mobility exercises are quick, easy, and effective by design. A full upper body or lower body routine can be completed in 5-10 minutes making it optimal as a warm-up or cool down activity.
While stretching is a great way to help improve flexibility and mobility, taking the right supplements can also help support your nutrient requirements for healthy joints and aid mobility and flexibility. Ethical Nutrients FLEXIZORB Active Joint Support is made from Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM®), which naturally contains the four key nutrients found in healthy joints: collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. It works from just 10 days to improve joint flexibility and mobility.
My recent foot injury has made me even more aware of the importance of joint care for both my flexibility and mobility and incorporating FLEXIZORB Active Joint Support in to my everyday routine has helped to improve my joint mobility.
These are just some of the key reasons why implementing mobility work into your routine should be done for a body maintenance perspective.
To get the most out of your training, your body needs to be healthy. A healthy body leads to living a comfortable and happy life and I think setting aside 5-10 minutes a day to focus on mobility and flexibility is a small price to pay for a happier life!