People are almost always on the move. Whether you’re planning to run a marathon or simply walk into your kitchen to make yourself lunch, moving around is a part of life.
However, due to age, disease, and/or a lack of physical activity, moving around gets harder and harder. Worldwide, chronic back pain affects 60-70% of adults in industrialized countries.
The key to moving around without any problems is to reinforce your joints. They link the entire skeletal system into a functioning whole, so we should take care of them.
The following are 3 things you can do to strengthen your joints and move like a well-oiled machine.
1. Walk barefoot
Most shoes have cushioned heels, which means you’re always walking as if you were standing on your tippy toes (at least, that’s how your spine and the rest of your joints feel).
Regular cushioned heels are not as bad as staccato heels, but walking thousands of steps a day for years on them takes its toll.
Walking barefoot helps to alleviate the strain on your lower back and correct your posture.
You can try walking barefoot at your home to start.
If you want to go outside but don’t want to step on glass or walk into a “No Shoes, No Service” place, the next best thing is minimalist shoes that try to imitate the feeling and benefits of walking barefoot.
Chuck Taylors also have zero-drop heels, if you want to go for a more fashionable choice.
2. Stay on your feet
Sitting too much is not good for you.
It causes problems for your knees, hips, and lower back.
It might feel good after a long day of work, but it reduces blood flow and functionally shortens your ligaments and tendons, straining your joints when you do move.
Unfortunately, a lot of people work at a desk and sitting all day is part of the job.
The best solution is a standing desk, for those who can afford it.
For everyone else, leave your work area every 20 minutes to go stretch and shake your legs – your body will thank you for it.
3. Do the static back pose
The static back pose is a simple exercise that allows your lower back muscles to relax and helps to realign your spine and posture.
It only takes 5-10 minutes a day and the benefits are priceless.
How to do the static back pose:
- Lie on your back and rest your legs on something (ex: blocks, table, or a chair). Bend your knees 90 degrees and make sure that whatever you’re using to support your legs are up against your thighs, letting your legs completely rest.
- Line up your arms with your shoulders and have the palm of your hands face up.
- Relax and take a couple of deep breaths.
- Stay in position and continue deep breathing for about 5-10 minutes. The goal is for your hips and lower back to settle flat on the floor.
Through gravity and your own body weight, this exercise helps to effectively realign your posture and spine.
Joints are one of the most overlooked parts of your body and one of the most important parts of it.
Spend some time taking care of them and you’ll be able to improve your physical performance, whether you want to do better in sports or simply want to move around with ease.