5 Exercises to Improve Joint Mobility

Have you allowed joint discomfort to become a part of your everyday routine?
You wake up in the morning and recognize the familiar “snap”, “crackle” and “pop” noises your joints make and the aching pain you feel first thing in the morning.  Sometimes joint discomfort is so jarring in can take a few minutes to readjust your body before starting the day.

Although it might seem easier to grab the nearest bottle of pain relief, long-term joint improvement requires daily activity. Joint mobility exercises that increase range of motion help keep muscles, ligaments, and tendons flexible and strong – and they have an additional benefit of lowering stress levels.

Here are five areas to target to improve joint mobility.  Try them first thing in the morning and set a new routine that makes joint health a priority.

Neck. Take a deep breath and think about welcoming the day ahead. Slowly roll your neck in half circles, starting with the left side. Drop it down first and then roll to the left, and center – then back. Repeat 8 to 10 times.  Try again, but this time to the right. No work the neck in a direct line, by dropping your head back to look at the sky, and then bring it back to an upright position.  Do this 8 to 10 times as well.

Arms. Straighten your arms out to each side and rotate in medium to large circles – forward, then backwards – 8 to 10 times. This helps loosen the shoulder joints.

Wrists. Rotate your wrists in controlled circular motions – forward then backward.

Legs. Do the same for your ankles.  If you have poor balance, you can sit down for this step. Try rotating the lower part of you leg and ankle at the same time, working the knee.

Hips. Rotate the hips. Plant your feet about six inches apart and swing your hips to the left and then the right – again, 8 to 10 times. Imagine you're using a hula hoop!

With just ten minutes devoted to joint exercise a day, you can expect increased mobility and a broader range of body motion – but only if you stick to it!  Joint and bone health require commitment and continuity.

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