15:08 PM

Boost Your Balance and Flexibility by the End of This Month

HealthCentral.com highlights how recommended movements by experts including HSS physical therapist Wai-Kwong Hui, PT, DPT, MS, can improve balance and flexibility in a way that allows people to alleviate pain and stiffness that limit movement. 

Maintaining your balance and flexibility are important for a few reasons, said Hui. First, when you have inflammatory arthritis, your joints can get stiff. “Once you stop moving, you’re creating rust. That’s going to make it harder to move,” noted Hui. As the old saying goes, “motion is lotion,” he added. Second, the pain and stiffness caused by these conditions tends to lead people to alter their movement patterns and move in ways that limit balance and mobility. Improving these skills requires working on them often—every day if possible, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time—by doing exercises that challenge your body.

Hui recommends stretching in small amounts throughout the day, which has the added benefit of building in movement breaks. “If you’re sitting at a desk a lot, getting up and moving and stretching what’s tight is a great thing to do to change your position,” Hui says. Sitting in one position all day long contributes to stiffness and reinforces bad posture, so the more you can stand up and reset, however briefly, the better.

Hui suggests stretching the body parts that feel particularly tight—likely, different areas of the spine, shoulders, and neck, though the lower body can also contribute to overall stiffness and discomfort—and holding each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds to really feel the stretch response of the muscles and tendons. “You can work your way up even longer to really feel that stretch over time,” he adds.

Read the full article at healthcentral.com/.