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How can I keep from feeling stiff?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are some things that can help with stiffness as you age. Learn about them in this video with Dr. Oz.




A combination of stretching and remaining physically active are extremely important for avoiding joint stiffness. Unfortunately, people today are spending more time sitting and less time moving. Consequently, when your joints are not moved through a full range of motion due to inactivity, they adapt to this position by shortening, which decreases flexibility. Poor flexibility decreases your body’s ability to maintain proper posture, limits proper joint motion increasing the risk for low-back pain, joint pain, and injury during everyday activities. Strive for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. walking) 5 days per week. In addition, a comprehensive stretching routine can help you maintain mobility and avoid feeling stiff. Try these stretches at home:

[media id="DEV__4c823f376a81c1_21563054" title="Standing Lat Stretch"]

[media id="DEV__4c84d73d4d4560_52445351" title="Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch"]

[media id="DEV__4c823edca24aa7_53873633" title="Standing Outer Hamstring Stretch"]

 

Lack of activity and the absence of stretching the muscle groups that become tight as we age will definitely cause stiffness. And as Dr. Oz and the NASM said, one of the best ways to relieve the stiffness is to move and stretch by doing some type of "Dynamic" or "Movement" flexibility exercise. 

Each morning I also wake up stiff as a board, mainly because of an old low back injury. My first order of business, sometimes even before I brush my teeth is to do a series of eight silken movements "Pal Dan Gum" (a form of Korean or Chinese Qi Gong). These eight exercises only take about 5-10 minutes to complete and then I'm good to go.

A full description of how to do each exercise can be found by clicking or copying and pasting the link below. 

http://www.healing4u.com/pdf/PalDanGum.pdf

If you want to keep from being stiff, including some type of gentle movement flexibility exercise (like qigong, yoga, Pilates or dynamic stretching) will definitely do the trick.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.