Health and fitness are often closely linked with things like weight loss and looking lean. Cardiovascular exercise and strength training are great ways to slim down and shape up. But, your physique shouldn’t be the driving factor in a healthy lifestyle.
Looking your best is important and can motivate you to keep exercising. And, of course, cardio and strength training are important for heart health and muscle retention. However, workouts that include mobility training will keep your body flexible and agile for years. As you get older, you might find that mobility becomes a higher priority than something like losing those last five pounds.
So, why is mobility training so important? Furthermore, what does it consist of? So many people aren’t utilizing mobility exercises the way they should, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Now that we’re warmed up, let’s stretch out and find out more about why mobility training is important and how you can incorporate it into your fitness regimen.
A Must for Active Lifestyles
According to the CDC, just over 23% of adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and strength-training activity. That number might seem low when you step into the gym or see people out jogging every morning. People who have adopted healthy lifestyles and take exercise seriously are always looking for ways to focus on their well-being.
If you already have an active lifestyle and you work out regularly, you should consider adding mobility training to your lineup. Pilates, for example, is more than just a “gimmick” that gained popularity a few years ago. It’s a low-impact system that can take your current workouts to the next level and improve your overall recovery. Some of the biggest benefits of Pilates include:
- It builds the mind-body connection
- Develops a strong core
- Encourages long, lean muscles
- Improves flexibility
- Teaches the importance of moving efficiently
Pilates and other types of mobility training are also important because they’re gentle. They allow you to do something active without overly straining your muscles, your heart, or your joints. Taking a break from more intense workouts throughout the week to do mobility training can actually improve your overall fitness level and health. Pilates workouts will help to improve your range of motion. You’ll be ready for any type of activity, including working out in nature and having to think on your toes with every step.
Aging With Strength
Mobility training is a fantastic way to start working out at any age. Again, it’s easy on your joints and doesn’t require a lot of experience to get started. So, it’s a great option for older individuals looking to improve their health and stay strong and agile later in life.
Exercising is important as you age. But, routines like HIIT or heavy strength training can be risky and may even lead to injury. Not only will mobility-based workouts help you feel better, but they can reduce your risk of getting injured by improving your flexibility and agility. Regular exercise is one of the keys to promoting wellness as you age, but that doesn’t mean you need to focus solely on one or two types of workouts.
If you struggle with any type of pain, mobility training can help. It’s not uncommon to experience muscles aches and back pain more frequently as you age. Because Pilates is meant to strengthen and stabilize your core, it can help to reduce that pain and prevent future episodes or flare-ups.
Whether you use mobility training as a preventative tool for better health or a way to improve your other workouts, it should be in your regular exercise arsenal.
How to Incorporate Mobility Training Into Your Routine
What does it look like to include mobility training into your regimen? No matter your age, you can get started with Pilates with just a few simple steps. If you’re a beginner, it can be helpful to look up some basic moves online to get started. Doing so will allow you to get comfortable with them on your own, before diving into a Pilates class. Other steps to consider as you start include:
- Finding classes/instructors in your area
- Getting the right equipment
- Setting up space in your home
You don’t need much to get started, especially if you already have a yoga mat. As you become more advanced, you might want to include things like small weights or a resistance band to build strength and flexibility at the same time.
It’s estimated that 19 million people in the U.S. struggle with some type of mobility issue. Many are younger than you might think. That doesn’t mean those individuals shouldn’t be able to experience a fulfilling and comfortable way to exercise.
Mobility training can work as a wonderful tool for workout recovery if you’re already active. It can also serve as a gateway into other exercises if you’re just starting out. No matter your situation, it promotes a strong and healthy mind and body that takes the focus away from aesthetics and shifts it to feeling your best – something that will stick with you for the rest of your life.