Nobody gets any younger as time goes on.
In our later years, we find that we’re not as flexible, mobile or able to balance like we used to. And every year it gets worse.
I remember back in the day (why do we always say that?) when I used to wrestle, play football and baseball. I was so limber I moved like a cat.
When I wasn’t playing my organized sports I was climbing trees, jumping off garage roofs and balancing myself while walking along the top of a fence.
While I would not attempt any of this now that I am 30-40 years older (and wiser!) I still have good flexibility, mobility and balance. I would NOT if I did not work out regularly, and pay close attention to these components of fitness.
Most people I see working out in the gyms are lifting weights, jumping up and down, running and performing enough exercise…but what about stretching, mobility, and balance? As we get older it is important to incorporate these components into your workouts if you want to maintain the health of your joints, stay out of pain or avoid unwanted falls.
As we age it’s great if we can be lean, eat well and look good. But don’t we all want to be pain-free, more mobile, have better balance and feel safer in our own bodies?
(This is all possible for you…and you can start working with me and my team to see the results TODAY. Learn more about our NEW 21-Day Personal Training Program.)
Why Do I Need to Work On My Flexibility?
As people grow older, they tend to lose flexibility, usually as a result of inactivity, but partially because of the aging process itself.
The less active you are, the less flexible you are likely to be. As with cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility will improve with regular practice.
Benefits of Flexibility Training
Flexibility training will bring a number of surprising health benefits into your life…including:
- Releases muscle tension and soreness
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Reduces low back pain and arthritis
- Improves posture
- Increases physical and mental relaxation
- Reduces risk of falling
- Allows greater freedom of movement
Why Do I Need to Improve My Mobility?
Through the natural aging process, daily activities, injuries, exercise, or sport, joint range of motion can decrease resulting in what is known as a compromised joint.
That means your joint is vulnerable. This can lead to mobility issues which can in turn cause aches, pain, injuries, poor posture and unwanted falls.
Mobility training can improve the range of motion of our joints and muscles. It can assist in improving our posture. Mobility training can alleviate ‘everyday’ aches and pains, as well as improve our body awareness.
What is the Difference Between Flexibility and Mobility?
Most people know what flexibility is. But often, people confuse this with mobility. There is a difference between the two.
Flexibility refers to the ability of your joints to move pain-free and without stiffness through a wide range of motion. For example, flexibility is when you are able to lift your leg further with the assistance of your arms.
However, with mobility, you are able to control the whole range of motion with just the muscles. Mobility refers to the strength of the muscle in this range of motion.
For example, you would be able to control the entire movement of the leg with just the leg muscles. Unlike flexibility, there is no requirement for any assistance to perform the move.
Why Do I Need to Work on Balance?
Balance exercises improve your ability to control and stabilize your body’s position. This type of exercise is particularly important for older adults.
As you age, your ability to know where you are in space, called proprioception, gets worse, which contributes to a decline in balance. Often, we are not fully aware that we may have weak balance until we try balance exercises.
Balance training is also important for pregnant women and people who have lost a lot of weight, both of which can throw off your center of gravity.
Finally, balance training is essential for people who have suffered joint injuries, as the training strengthens the proprioceptors which surround your joints and helps to stabilize them.
Benefits of Balance Training
Balance training exercises that you do as part of a program with a certified personal trainer will…
- Help prevent falls
- Reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries, such as knee and ankle injuries
- Improve proprioception, which will stabilize your joints
How Often Should I Perform Flexibility, Mobility and Balance Exercises?
As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly, you may want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you may want to stretch every day…or even twice a day.
If your joint mobility is severely limited, then an everyday pre-exercise regimen may be necessary. Once full range of motion is regained, mobility training can be reduced to a few times a week…then to once a week, and as needed from there.
Balance exercises can be done every day or as many days as you like and as often as you like. Preferably, older adults at risk of falls should do balance training 3 or more days a week and do standardized exercises from a program demonstrated to reduce falls.
If you need help starting a fitness program that includes flexibility, mobility and balance training an experienced, certified personal trainer can help teach you how to begin properly. Doing so will help you get the best results in the shortest amount of time without getting injured.
Not Sure What to Do? We Can Help!
We are starting our NEW 21 Day Personal Training Program in Monmouth County, NJ. The Program, hosted at our studios in Ocean Township and Little Silver, teaches you all about each of the 5 components of physical fitness.
When it comes to Flexibility, Mobility and Balance Training, we will:
- Show you how to stretch properly
- Introduce you to Mobility Exercises
- Introduce you to Balance Exercises
- Demonstrate and teach proper form for each exercise and stretch
- Determine how long and how often to perform these movements
- Set up a Flexibility, Mobility and Balance workout for you to follow
During the Program, you will work with an educated, experienced personal trainer who will take you through a workout in each of the 5 components to make sure you thoroughly understand each one.
After just 21 days, you’ll know a LOT about each component — and you’ll have a balanced workout plan to use on your own once the program is complete.