As we grow older, our physical agility tends to drop due to the normal aging process. That’s because, over time, the lubricating fluid in the joints decreases. The muscle ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissue also shorten and become thinner, making joints feel stiff.
The good news though is through healthy practices, you can slow down the aging process and increase your flexibility, not just to improve your range of motion, but also to feel good. Here are 3 surefire ways to help you achieve this goal.
There are a variety of foods and supplements that have been proven to strengthen bones, fight inflammation, lubricate joints, and enhance the immune system, all of which contribute to a healthy, strong, and flexible body.
For example, by consuming a regular healthy portion of fish, edamame beans, pumpkin seeds, or flax seeds, you supply your body with omega-3 nutrients which are responsible for improving blood vessel function and easing inflammation of the joints.
Also, calcium and vitamin D have been shown to assist in the maintenance of strong healthy joints and prevent bone loss. You can increase your calcium intake by consuming more leafy green vegetables, dried fruits, such as raisins and figs, and oatmeal.
If you’re looking to repair your joints and regenerate connective tissue around the bones then consider eating foods rich in collagen to improve your flexibility. Collagen is the main protein that forms connective tissue. Nuts, bone broth, legumes, and citrus fruits are excellent sources of collagen.
One of the major causes of decreased flexibility with age is limited motion caused by a sedentary lifestyle. This basically means sitting and laying down for long periods with very little exercise.
The result is usually pain and inflammation of the joints, which limits mobility.
To ensure your joints are able to go through their full range of motion, you can do exercises at home to increase your flexibility. They don’t have to be high-intensity workouts. A daily 10-minute workout that incorporates a wide variety of stretching exercises is enough to improve joint flexibility and function.
Some exercises that have been proven to be super effective in this regard include squats with rotations, pelvic tilts, and lunges, to name a few. These do not require any equipment.
3. Physical therapy
This is basically assisted exercise for people who are unable to exercise by themselves or require professional assistance due to a medical condition.
If you fall in this category, consider consistently working with a Physical Therapist to improve your range of motion. If you suffer from arthritis or any other bone and joint disease, a Physical Therapist can identify the exact pain spots and recommend massages, special therapies, and chiropractic treatments to relieve pain and enhance joint mobility.
A Physical Therapist can also take into account your sitting and laying habits and help you make small adjustments that can have a huge long-term impact on improving your flexibility.