When we do not move our joints will stiffen up. Movement keeps joints and soft tissues more flexible and less painful. Our body’s soft tissues – ligaments, tendons, muscles – will shorten and tighten if not moved through their full range regularly. If those soft tissues are inflamed, they will also get more swollen when held still. When those inflamed tissues are moved again, it will feel painful for the first few movements but with time the muscles will soften. Without motion, cartilages cannot get rid of their toxins or absorb nutrients and, like all living things, lack of nutrients and toxin build up and this eventually leads to the organisms demise. It could lead to joint degeneration, inflammation, arthritis, disc herniation, meniscal tears and possible joint replacements in the future.
I was reminded of the importance of movement for recovery a couple of day’s ago. I had focused a bit too heavily on hip stretching in my practice and my lower back and hip felt like they were out of place. Such a pain, as now I had to get an appointment with the Physio. My classes don’t stop and neither do I, so it would be a couple of days before I could see someone.
So without thinking I was straight back into teaching yoga and completing my barre hours towards becoming a barre instructor. Amazingly It has been a few days since I felt the discomfort of my hip and lower back, instead my body feels stretched and aligned. This reminds me of how important exercise is in keeping our bodies healthy and happy..
Movement does not need to be fast paced cardio for a long duration. It should not be seen as a chore but instead enjoyable. If you are feeling like you have lost your joy in exercise and you are having a mental block about getting moving consider the following tips to get you going again:
☀️An emphasis should be on seeing exercise as key to your daily routine, for example you brush your teeth twice a day, you try and get enough sleep, you eat fruit and vegetables. You get 20 minutes of exercise a day.
☀️Exercise with a friend. Hold yourself accountable for showing up. Not only are you letting yourself down if you make an excuse but your friend too!
☀️Join a group fitness class & get to know the instructor, let them know the challenge it might be for you to get there. If you realise somebody else is looking out for you at class this might make you feel more determined to be there.
☀️Get a Personal Trainer who specialises in your area of need eg: arthritis, lower back rehab and sign up for a 10 class or 5 class package to keep you going back.
☀️Do before and after pics or a daily journal to keep you on track.
So to keep your body feeling strong and to avoid aches and pains get into an exercise routine, start off with 20 minutes a day. You only have one body and one chance to take care of it. Begin the journey to better health now!