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October 2021: Musculoskeletal Health
The importance of mobility
When it comes to getting started on any exercise routine, mobility is often overlooked for the more challenging components associated with strength and conditioning. However, poor mobility can cause unnecessary setbacks in your well-being journey. It can lead to aches, pains, and even injuries that can derail a healthy lifestyle.
A large portion of the U.S. workforce sits for over 4 to 6 hours a day. This may lead to low back pain and posture compensations. If you find yourself in this category, hip mobility and core strength exercises are always a good thing to work on. It’s also a good idea to add more movement to your day. Try to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 minutes. Early research suggests you should spend 1 hour standing for every 1–2 hours sitting.
Next, try a few exercises and stretches, such as hip flexor stretches, planks, and glute bridges. While you try new exercises, keep in mind that it is recommended to stretch each muscle group for at least 60 seconds. This can be accomplished by doing sets of 10-30 seconds at a time or all at once. While stretching, a mild discomfort may occur, but sharp or intense pain should be avoided. The idea is to let the muscle relax into the stretch. Forcing a position can cause the muscle to tighten or cause injury. All stretching and mobility exercises should be completed in a slow and controlled manner while breathing throughout each movement.
Regardless of your health and wellness goals, physical activity of any kind will play a role in success. When working on physical activity, make sure to focus on mobility to ensure you can stay active and pain free as you work toward your goals. Meet with a musculoskeletal professional and have an assessment completed to identify mobility issues. They will be able to identify potential risks and provide a custom set of exercises that you can use daily to help improve your overall joint mobility and function.