HEALTHY LIVING: 5 tips for exercising with common mobility issues

Mobility issues can hinder your ability to do the activities you love and prevent you from completing simple tasks, such as putting the groceries away.

The Catch-22 with mobility issues is that they prevent you from moving, while proper exercise can actually improve your range of motion and subdue pain.

Always consult a doctor or physical therapist before beginning an exercise regime to ensure that it is safe for you to do so.

1. Use props 

Blankets are an ideal prop for those with joint sensitivity.

You can use blankets to cushion the kneecaps while kneeling, underneath the knees, or behind the back or neck for additional support while lying down.

Foam yoga blocks can also be used to keep the knees from buckling while building strength through leg presses. 

Yoga blocks can also be balanced between the forearm and knee during bird dogs.

2. Go light

Use light weights or resistance bands instead of doing heavily loaded exercises.

Resistance bands are ideal for working through range of motion issues caused by shoulder impingement. 

Bands on the market range in levels of difficulty. You can choose from a variety of lengths, shapes, and thickness.

If you opt for weightlifting, you can strength build while protecting from further injury by going with a low weight and increasing the number of repetitions that you do with each set.

3. Stretch it out

Always be sure to warm up before your workouts, or stretching in general.

You should not stretch cold. 

A brief daily morning warm-up routine consisting of calisthenics and stretching can help to improve your flexibility over time as well as muscle tightness.

Never hold a stretch for more than 30-seconds or pull on a joint while stretching.

Lower back pain is a common complaint amongst older adults. Many times, this issue is caused by tightness in the hamstrings and can be markedly improved by proper stretching.

Consult your doctor or physical therapist for stretches specific to improving your condition.

4. Invest in additional support

There are many braces on the market that can serve to support you throughout exercise or everyday activities. 

Wrist, knee, and back braces are among the most common sold at local pharmacies or online.

Heating and cooling pads are other widely distributed devices that can ease the pain that comes with mobility issues.

Compression socks, arm sleeves, weightlifting gloves, and wrist wraps are also among the most popular supportive workout accessories. 

5. Do your research

In addition to consulting your doctor, you can take to reputable websites to conduct additional research on the kinds of exercises that may help to improve your condition.

Many times, small living adjustments can make a big difference in how we feel inside of our bodies.

Correcting your posture while sitting or changing the angle at which your neck cranes towards the computer screen can help improve physical discomfort.

Sleeping positions can also impact muscle and joint aliments. 

You can place a pillow between your knees while lying sideways or underneath them while lying on your back to relieve pressure from the spine.

Certified personal trainers and exercise physiologists are also helpful resources to refer to when embarking on an exercise regime designed to improve mobility hinderances.

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkr is-





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