Moving the body can help prevent and treat dozens of diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Some activities increase your stamina, while others improve your strength, mobility, balance, or flexibility. Mobility is the ability to move your body freely and easily, taking your arms and legs through their range of motion. Joint mobility is how well a joint can move (like your hip joint).
Mobility is an important component to staying healthy, but sometimes our mobility can be limited. An important consideration for any movement exercise is how we listen to our body. Reflecting and bringing awareness to your physical body before, during and after movement activities can help prevent adverse events or injury.
When we have healthy joints, we can move more freely and easily and may experience less joint pain or injury. Mobility exercises can help maintain healthy joints and increase or maintain range-of-motion and flexibility. These exercises involve gentle movement such as straightening and bending the arms at the elbow joint or rolling your shoulders forward, up, back and down. These exercises can be done quickly and easily, in a small space, sitting in a chair, and without any equipment. You can do one exercise at a time or put them together into a full body mobility session.
Curious about what these exercises might look or feel like? Join Therapeutic Yoga instructor, Alison Whitehead, MPH, RYT 500, in this chair mobility session.
Looking for information on physical therapy? Check out the Physical Therapy section of the Veterans Health Library: https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov/rehab/PhysicalTherapy/
Mobility or range-of-motion exercises are just one form of moving the body. Find out how to use Whole Health to work your mind and soul, too: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp .
Alison M. Whitehead, MPH is the Acting Director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.