Starting Your Day With Mobility

A foam roller being used for myofascial release on the glute/hip area

First off let’s start by defining mobility before we get deep into this article. MY definition of human mobility is the combination of your joints range of motion capability and your muscular/connective tissues flexibility or suppleness. Together these two anatomical descriptions make up either easy movement and low incidences of pain/discomfort, or the opposite. Unfortunately the latter is the more popular of the two, and thus we find ourselves looking for answers on how to become more like a supple leopard, and less like a wood 2X4. 

So how do we improve of flexibility, suppleness, and joint range of motion? Glad you asked…

Starting your day with a personalized mobility routine can address and improve your shoulder, vertebrae, hip, knee, and ankle joints along with any other joint in your body. It can also address your overworked and extremely tight hamstrings, lower back, chest, hip flexors, rhomboids (mid back), and any other tight area on your body. The catch? You actually have to perform the mobility routine. Thats the easy part though. Determining exactly what you need is where Walinga Fitness comes in. Check out the posture improvement button on the home page after reading this article to learn more about that process.

For now let’s talk about what its going to do for you when you decide to do it. What are the results? Why should I incorporate this into my already busy, hectic morning? Its going to make your whole day and night better – that’s why. Who doesn’t want better right? I’m going to break it down and tell you exactly why its going to be better.

Your body will talk to you as soon as you start walking, brushing your teeth, putting your socks on, or whatever it is you first do when you wake up.

Most people ignore this body talk and put it off as “normal”. Your body may tell you that its stiff, tight, and possibly in a bit of discomfort. In the morning, if you are a person who is slow to move, has a little moaning and groaning with some tasks, and feels discomfort or pain with simple actions, then you are in need of some improved mobility. Most people report that a specific issue they often feel like a tight lower back for example, will warm up and be fine later in the day. Maybe in 10 minutes, maybe in an hour, or two, or more. Either way, that’s the norm. We get used to it and just accept it. Heres the big issue with that though. It progressively gets worse and there is an accumulation effect. It happens slowly but is so consistent you hardly notice until, BAM! You wake up and its locked, extremely painful, or un-willing to co-operate with your normal demands to move! Off to the treatment centre or hospital to get diagnosed or get you moving again. Or wait it out? Hold on, there’s another (better) way to deal with this…

What if we put our bodies into a physically better state, in terms of how tight and restricted we feel everyday? What if we set our bodies up to be in a better postural state for the whole entire day? Well if we did we would instantly notice our pains and discomforts diminishing and gradually being eliminated all together. 

What if it only took 20 minutes? Too long? How about 10 minutes? Still no good? We all have 5 minutes don’t we? Anyone can squeeze in 5 minutes of feeling better right? After all everyday that you move (or don’t move – which is worse) our bodies need to adapt, compensate, and deal with everything we throw at it. Not to mention the mental stress added on top of the physical stuff. Heres the deal. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. It can be literally 5 minutes of what I call your “go to” mobility techniques. The results can be downright astounding. Addressing your bodies talk of being tight, in discomfort, or anything but feeling good is important and doesn’t need to takeover your morning – or your life. Most people depend on massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, or some form of treatment when their bodies get into an “I can’t deal with this anymore” state. I am not bashing those professions and saying you shouldn’t use them. In fact I am a huge advocate for all of them and any other service that helps you improve your bodies ability to move and feel good. I personally use many of those services to help me move and feel better. The big issue is that if we let our bodies get to the state where we NEED them, we are already behind. We are simply getting by, rather than thriving. 

Most of us get into this state of needing services without experiencing a major physical trauma, like a car accident for example. The majority of people simply do not move enough because of the way we live our lives today. Sitting on the computer at work, sitting while we drive, sitting on the couch, sitting, sitting, sitting. This leads to muscles being shut down because they simply are not active and therefore we have opposing muscles compensating and tightening up to carry the load. This is what leads to discomfort and eventually pain for most people. The toll that pain, discomfort, and being out of structural balance is exhausting. Physically, mentally, and especially your nervous system gets depleted and that’s why we have that BAM moment when your body is tapping out and saying “I can’t deal with this anymore – do something about it!”

If we can use services like those as a tune up, a learning opportunity, or extra, we will be a lot more independent with our body, have more money in our pockets, and more than anything we can live in comfort!

When we do daily release work (trigger point release like at a massage), stretches (kind of like yoga), traction work (advanced band techniques), or any combination, it can be powerful. Your body feels an instant difference and it can literally improve your posture right then and there. You can melt away muscle knots and tension causing headaches right away. Your mind-muscle connection and body awareness gets tuned in, and is in the back of your mind all day. You sit up a little straighter on the drive to work. You realize that in the first hour of work while sitting your are more uncomfortable than usual. This is a good thing! You feel the urge to stand up have a quick stretch or walk and you feel better. Awareness is through the roof. It continues throughout your day and by the end of it you literally just feel better. The likelihood of you crawling into that bed a stiff, tight human like the night before is reduced significantly. Morning mobility can set your body, mind, and entire day in motion. To learn more about mobility check out the flexibility button on the home page. 

A kneeling hip flexor/psoas dynamic stretch

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