Daily Physical Activities for Maintaining and Increasing your Range of Motion
The phrase “use it or lose it” applies to our joints and muscles as we age, and maintaining your range of motion becomes more important as the years go by. Routine physical activities like bending, lifting, climbing the stairs and cleaning the house can keep you active and prevent stiffness and weakness to some degree, but specific exercises are needed to enhance your range of motion.
For the best advice and suggestions for daily physical activities that will enhance the full range of motion for each area of the body, visit a Bradford healthcare professional to receive a thorough evaluation and individualized recommendations for a physiotherapy plan to keep you flexible and strong.
Range of Motion Exercises
Here are some tips for daily physical activities that can maintain and even increase your range of motion. Remember to consult with your physician before beginning your exercise regimen, and warm up ahead of time. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds or more, and repeat for three sets.
- Stretching the Hamstrings
For improved back and hip mobility, hold the ends of a bath-sized towel while sitting on an exercise mat on the floor. Wrap the towel around one foot, and allow your legs to extend straight out as you lie back with the towel still in your hands. Raise your leg with the towel while keeping your knee straight, and feel the stretch in back of your thigh. Hold, and repeat the stretching exercise with the other leg.
- Stretching the Shoulders and Upper Back
Kneel on your hands and knees on the floor. Allow your rear to sit back near the heels of your feet, and relax your head. This is the familiar yoga “child’s pose” that stretches underneath your arms, along your back and the sides of your trunk for greater range of motion in the shoulders and upper back.
- Stretching the Chest
Offset the effects of long hours at the computer by improving your pectoral muscles for better posture and increased range of motion. Lie on two pillows placed lengthwise with your back and head supported and your lower body on the floor. Then feel the stretch in front as you form a Y, T and I positions with your arms.
- Stretching the Hip and Gluteus Area
Improve the range of motion in your hip and gluteus area to maintain your ability to put on your own shoes and socks as you age and maintain your independence. Lie down with your knees bent and both feet on the floor. Cross your left ankle over your right knee, and repeat on the other side. Then straighten your right leg as you bring your left knee toward your left shoulder and keep your hands under your thigh for support to stretch the buttock and your lower back. Repeat with the left leg.
- Stretching the Hip and Low Back
Sit at the edge of the bed, lie back and bring your right knee to your chest while holding the back of your thigh. Feel the stretch in the other leg that is left hanging. Repeat this hip flexor stretch with the other leg.