Have you ever felt like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz? You rise out of bed in the morning wishing you could reach for the oil can to lubricate your joints quickly and get them in working order!
Or maybe you thought there must be a nearby bowl of Rice Krispies as you clearly hear the snap, crackle and pop of your neck, back, shoulders and knees.
That stiff, achy feeling is not comfortable and it can sometimes take several minutes before warming up enough to take the first steps of the day.
If you work on joint mobility daily it will help to diminish the pain and discomfort of stiffness by lubricating the joints. It will increase your range of motion, lower your stress level, and keep connected muscles, ligaments and tendons flexible and strong.
Many people have this discomfort daily, but rather than reach for a bottle of ibuprofen, here are five natural ways to improve your joint mobility to get your day started with ease.
1. First thing to do once you are out of bed is to slowly take a deep breath with an attitude of gratitude for the day.
2. Next, start with my favorite -- the neck roll. Drop your neck down and roll it to the left and back to center 8 to 10 times, then to the right and back to center 8 to 10 times. Now, slowly drop your head back at a comfortable level and look up at the ceiling, then bring it back to an upright position. Repeat 8-10 times.
3. Then, straighten your arms out to your side and rotate your arms in a medium to large circle movement forward then backward, 8 to 10 times each. This will lubricate the joints in your shoulders to get them ready for your day.
4. Now, rotate your wrists in a circular motion forward and backward and then each ankle forward and backward. Again, repeat each movement 8 to 10 times. Sometimes I like to rotate the lower part of my leg and ankle at the same time - that way I'm working the knee in conjunction with the ankle, thus saving time.
5. Last, but not least, it's important to rotate the hips. Place your feet a little more than six inches apart and rotate your hips to the left and then to the right 8 to 10 times. You might want to envision that you are using a hula-hoop slowly while doing this move.
Lifelong pain-free mobility can literally only take you 10 minutes a day to accomplish.
These moves work, but only if you practice them often. Practice them so they become part of your everyday routine. Eventually, snap, crackle and pop will no longer be the first sounds of your day... unless you're eating Rice Krispies!
WENDIE PETT is a nationally renowned fitness expert, mother, speaker, author of Every Woman's Guide to Personal Power, and creator of the Visibly Fitâ„¢ exercise program. Her many Visibly Fitâ„¢ instructional DVDs teach wellness maximization through the balance of mind, body, and spirit. As a personal trainer and wellness coach, Wendie offers seminars to corporate groups and individuals. To learn more about Wendie or to schedule group or individual training/coaching visit www.wendiepett.com.