8 Top Tips To Improve Mobility & Help You Enjoy a More Active Lifestyle
By the time age 30 came around, things had probably started to slow down a bit. You could definitely feel the pain and uncomfortableness when you'd done something strenuous earlier in the day or even a couple days prior.
Unfortunately, mobility continues to decrease as you age. So now you're in your 40s, 50s, or over and may have begun to wake up with aches and pains for no reason at all!
It’s like you were unknowingly abducted by aliens in the middle of the night and had to suffer through every traumatic test they could think of, and then you were just deposited back into your bed.
If this sounds like you, there are some things you can start doing to help regain and improve your mobility.
Why not check out our ‘Full Body Tune-Up' program, by clicking the box below.
You may not become a flexible gymnast with the ability to do the splits any time soon, but you can become a more active father that can participate in your kids’ sports and lives.
There are numerous ways to improve mobility and flexibility, and you can start them immediately. Don’t put it off and say you'll start these next week or next month when your schedule slows down.
Take the tips and solid pieces of advice I've listed below and put them to good use today.
Tip #1: Use Warm Up & Cool Down Stretches To Improve Mobility & Flexibility
Stretching is beneficial before, during, or after a workout. It's also great for warming up in the morning.
Remember those mysterious ailments that show up between midnight and 6 am?
Stretching could alleviate some of these problems.
When you were younger, you probably never even considered stretching before an athletic event or before a workout.
You thought you were indestructible… But as you've grown older, you've learned to accept the limitations that come along with aging.
Stretching allows the muscles to remain flexible and healthy.
With this flexibility, you can enjoy a greater range of motion in your joints. When was the last time you were able to bend down and touch your toes?
If you start stretching every day, there's a good chance that even if you can’t touch your toes now, in a few weeks you just might be able to.
Without stretching, the muscles actually shorten and become tight. They may feel like they are about ready to snap sometimes.
This can lead to injuries and problems such as pulled muscles, joint pain, and muscle damage.
Implementing the following routines before and after your workouts will help improve mobility, allow you to become much more flexible, and *stave off the likelihood of injury.
(*Although we can't guarantee against injury, this will definitely help)
Warm Up Exercises Before Workout: Upper Body Stretches
Warm Up Exercises Before Workout: Lower Body Stretches
Post-Workout, Ground-Up Stretch Routine
Tip #2: Use Exercises That Help Improve Knee Strength & Mobility
If you have already experienced mobility issues and joint pain, there's a good chance it all started with your knees.
As you age your knees often become your biggest weakness.
Making sure you have good mobility in your knee joint, as well as strong supporting muscles will help it remain stable and relatively pain-free.
There are certain exercises that you can do at home to improve knee strength and mobility. No weights and equipment are needed.
Squats, hamstring curls, and leg raises enhance your knee strength and flexibility.
As time progresses, you will be able to do more reps and sets as the weeks go by.
Tip #3: Eat A Healthy Diet & Reduce Excess Weight
For quite a few men, especially in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, weight is a big cause of mobility and joint issues.
Nearly 40 percent of all men in the United States are clinically obese, so to think this is not a big factor in your mobility, means you're kidding yourself.
Think of how difficult it is to carry a singlewatermelon from your car to the fridge.
Watermelons typically weigh less than ten pounds, and they're able to put a strain on your lower back in a hurry.
Think about the effects 20, 30 or 40+ pounds will have on your joints?
If you've tried FF30X, but still have excess weight to lose, I would highly recommend checking out our Phase #2 and Phase #3 programs within the Fit Father For Life Membership Plan.
Whether you have another 50 pounds to lose or only 10 pounds, getting back to your ideal weight will ensure that your mobility will improve.
All those aches and pains in your knees are probably due to the extra weight you're carrying around.
Reducing that weight will be like magic for the health of your joints. I'm sure you've noticed an improvement from what you've achieved already.
Tip #4: Use Supplements That Help What Ails You
While a healthy diet will provide you with some of the nutrients you need to remain flexible and keep your mobility, adding some supplements into the mix could be in your best interest.
These supplements may reduce your current joint pain and improve upon it in the future.
Glucosamine is great for inflammation, cartilage growth, and will lubricate your joints.
You won’t have to be the Tin Man asking for the oil can if you introduce a glucosamine supplement into your daily routine.
In addition, glucosamine will support tendons, connective tissue, and even help your digestive tract.
Type 2 collagen is the most common collagen found in joints. Taking a type 2 collagen supplement will, in turn, increase joint repair, facilitate cartilage growth, and repress joint discomfort.
Several studies have shown that those suffering from painful arthritis will show much-improved symptoms when type 2 collagen is added to their daily vitamins and minerals.
There are certain doctors that will prescribe type 2 collagen for patients that are considering knee replacement. Their symptoms can improve so much that they can shelve the idea of getting a new knee.
Think of cartilage as padding for your joints. If you can increase the amount you are taking in, then it would be a good idea to do so.
Essential fatty acids, like fish oil, can reduce inflammation and increase lubrication in the joints.
Salmon, Lake trout, herring, sardines, halibut, and albacore tuna are all high in omega 3's.
If you're not a big fish eater, supplementing with some high-quality omega 3’s could be very advantageous.
Last but not least, consider MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) to assist in improving your mobility and fighting off joint pain. MSM will put a bit of sulfur into your system and become extremely bioavailable.
This mystical sulfur will reduce inflammation, so say goodbye to some of that pain. Also, it increases connective tissue and collagen formation. In addition, MSM can help with the leaky gut syndrome that many of us suffer from as we get older.
And men, if you are concerned about hair loss, there are those that believe MSM can be of great assistance in retaining the hair you have and inspiring growth in follicles that have already tapped out long ago.
Tip #5: Join In With A Yoga Class
Maybe you want some help in improving mobility but need someone to show you the way.
Taking a yoga or pilates class will provide you the specialist instruction so you will be able to do the downward dog in no time.
Stretching for an hour or so, a couple times a week might be the medicine you need to improve mobility & flexibility.
More men are taking yoga than ever before, so don’t be too self-conscious about joining in with a class.
Tip #6: Eat Foods that Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is actually your body’s response to try to heal itself. However, inflammation also brings on swelling and pain as it stimulates nerves.
There are certain foods you can eat that will help reduce painful inflammation.
Foods such as spinach, pineapple, salmon, and broccoli have high anti-inflammatory properties.
Spinach is also associated with increasing strength, especially since Popeye emerged on the scene in 1929!
This may be due to its high content of iron and calcium, but it can also be consumed to reduce inflammation as well.
It's also important to note that excess amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase inflammation dramatically. If you're eating junk food, that should be the first thing you change to help increase mobility.
Tip #7: Take Steps To Improve Bone Health & Mobility
As you age, your bones become thinner and not quite as dense. This could be preventing you from being flexible as nobody wants to experience soreness and pain coming from so deep within.
There are steps you can take to work on your bone health and mobility. The key is to attack it from all angles.
Start with eating calcium-rich foods like okra, spinach, kale, and legumes.
Calcium is great for the bones and may prevent you from breaking a hip in a fall when you enter your senior years.
If you are lactose intolerant or just don’t like the foods that are high in calcium, there are multiple calcium supplements available in stores or online.
Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium at maximum efficiency. Calcium supplements with added Vitamin D are available.
Just like Superman gets his strength from the sun, so shall you. Do some yard work and receive some vitamin D at the same time.
It will also provide you with a bit of color and prevent you from looking like Boo Radley.
Strength training will increase bone strength as well.
However, don’t go so heavy that you are causing joint pain in the process.
As always, consult your physician before undertaking such a change in your lifestyle, if you are concerned.
Tip #8: Involve Your Family For Accountability
Improving mobility is something that your whole family can help you with. Involving your spouse and your kids will make it a family issue and they will hold you much more accountable throughout.
It's good to have support from your family as you move forward on your journey.
If you know someone else that is suffering through a lack of mobility, bring them along for the ride.
By following these lifestyle changes you are ensuring a much more active future that your family will be thankful for.
Writer, The Fit Father Project
Ryan is a fitness expert from Illinois with two decades of experience under his belt. Never one to turn down a challenge, he has taken every class any gym has to offer, even the Dance Kickboxing class. If 70s disco dance music starts playing, everybody should run for cover. You have never lived until you have kicked somebody in the head to Dancing Queen.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on how to improve mobility.