You Got to Move It!
For mature people no matter what your occupation, there are some simple mobility exercises that I have found greatly help relieve stiffness and aid in getting the blood circulating and bringing alertness back. These 8 exercises only take 10-20 seconds each and can be done anywhere, anytime, especially to get the day started or as a mid-day pick-up.
1. Arm Breaths:
Stand in a neutral parallel stance and inhale as you lift your arms up from your sides. Exhale as you bring them back down. Repeat 4 times. Focus on inhaling and exhaling fully and feeling your arms long and loose.
2. Overhead Reaches:
Start standing with arms up, then reach one arm higher than the other for one second, then switch. Alternate these reaches 16 times. Focus on reaching through your whole side body as well as your arm, and spread your fingers as you reach to help stretch your hands.
3. Head Turns, Tilts and Half-Circles:
Standing with arms by your sides, turn your head from side to side in an easy, smooth rhythm. Repeat 10 times. Then tilt your head slightly to one side for one second, then repeat to other side. Repeat 3 times to each side using gentle force. Then tilt to one side and hold for 3 seconds, deepening into the stretch by exhaling and relaxing the jaw completely. Repeat 3 times to each side. Lastly, slowly circle your head from one side to the other, doing a half-circle in front, and repeat the other way. Avoid circling or dropping the head to the back. Repeat 2 times each way.
4. Shoulder Circles:
From standing or sitting, circle your shoulders 4 times to the back, and 4 times to the front. Leave your arms straight and loose and breathe normally.
5. Side Bends with Reaches:
Open your legs to a wide parallel stance with your knees bent. Reach up and over with your left arm to the right side, curving your torso over, and placing your right hand on your right thigh for support. Repeat reach up and over to the left. Alternate 4 reaches to each side.
6. Torso Twists:
Stand with feet a little wider than hip-width distance apart, knees bent. Holding arms in an easy bent position, twist torso from side to side while keeping hips and lower body absolutely still. Use an easy, smooth rhythm without using too much force. Repeat 5 times to each side.
7. Front Leg Swings:
Stand with your left side next to a wall (or a ballet bar). Lightly place your left hand on the wall or bar for support and swing your right leg up in front keeping the leg long, but not locked straight. Bring the leg back down and tap the toes in back. Repeat the leg swings 10 times, being mindful not to swing too hard or so high that you have to bend the standing leg or sense a collapse in the lower back because the hip is moving with the leg. Turn around and repeat the swings with the left leg.
8. Arm Circle Swings:
Stand in neutral parallel stance. Swing right arm up and around in as full a range of motion as feels comfortable. Let the arm feel pulled around by centrifugal force to really loosen up the shoulder socket. Repeat 8-10 times with one arm, then repeat with the other. Next, reverse the arms circle swings with each arm.