“Motion is Lotion” is a direct quote from an orthopedic surgeon. It’s as simple as that, he said, movement will increase the lubricating fluid (synovial fluid) that transports nutrients to the joint cartilage which is essential to keep them healthy.
Ok, sounds simple so why don’t most of us do it? I’m a personal trainer, I know this stuff, but I’ve been working on a special project that keeps me glued, for way too long, in my computer chair. Over the last month I’ve noticed a groan when I stand and a crunch in my shoulders that wasn’t there before. During my wonderful rejuvenation trip to Rancho La Puerto, Fitness Resort days were wonderful, filled with hiking, stretching, trying new exercise classes and while my muscles were a bit sore from some new modalities, my knees and shoulder never felt better. This is because I was MOVING MORE!
Motion not only will help your joints feel better, it will improve or maintain joint range of motion, which is crucial as we age. If we lose range of motion it becomes easier for us to lose balance and even fall because it’s more difficult to make the necessary quick adjustments needed to catch ourselves.
Ok, so you don’t have to spend time a fitness resort (although I highly recommend it!) but you do need to GET MOVING and try to take your body through its full range of motion every day.
Here are a few sensible and realistic ways to get out of that chair!
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY! Mine is my activity tracker and my doggies. My Fitbit Alta nudges me with an alert that tells me I need to get off my butt and move. Or maybe find a friend to walk with that isn’t so easy to ignore as a Fitbit alert. OR why not schedule a walking call. Use your phone call time as an opportunity to get out and walk. For example, if you’re planning to catch up with a friend or family member, just pop in your head phones and circle the block or even your yard as you talk. It’s a super effortless way to get in more movement, and you’ll usually be so distracted with the actual conversation that exercising won’t seem so boring.
- USE TV AS YOUR MOTIVATION TO MOVE! What, this is my couch potato time! It doesn’t have to be too crazy or complicated. Just march in place during the commercials or why not trade the couch for an inflatable exercise ball. This will help strengthen your core while you sit. I’m going to use TV time to get on the floor with my dogs, Whiskey and Charlotte, and get some stretching in.
- DON’T BE LAZY ON YOUR ERRANDS! Use the furthest parking space you can find while running errands or at work. Come on, it won’t save you that much time to park up close! And please, if you can, opt for the stairs whenever possible. This might seem super obvious and even inconvenient, but stairs are awesome for your leg and glute muscles and also gets your heart really pumping. I don’t know about you, but elevators can be crazy slow, so the stairs often end up saving me time.
Getting motion to your joints throughout the day doesn’t have to be crazy, you just need to MOVE! Try my sensible and realistic tips above or let me know how you get moving! Leave me a comment our reach out through social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org