I was in a yoga class one morning and the instructor said “motion is lotion.” I couldn’t agree more. The mobile joints of your body contain fluid, in order for joints to function normally there has to be motion and as much range of motion as tolerable. The joints of our body require movement to circulate the fluids, elongate the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and reduce physical stress upon the joint which could otherwise result in arthritis.
Motion or more specifically range of motion (ROM) is as individual as our finger prints. Some people can put their hands on the floor while others can’t reach their knees. What you do and how much you can do depends on several factors including; genetics, activity level or lack of activity to name a few.
Yoga is a great way to get your joints moving, but if a classroom isn’t your thing, download a yoga or stretching video and do your thing in the privacy of your home. You can get a terrific amount of ROM workout with a length of rope or a long stick when used properly. A swimming pool works terrific if available, the water provides resistance while working on your joint mobility.
My suggestion is to move ALL your joints through their full range of motion every day at least once. Three or four times is better. That’s not just your arms and legs, but your spine as well. Swing your arms around in big circles, forward and backward. Swing your legs left and right, then kick forward and backward. Look up, down, left, and right, then lean your head to the sides. Put your arms straight out and do some helicopters. These should get you started. Don’t forget the little joints–move your wrists and fingers as well as your ankles and toes.