Movement is like nutrition. Just like you need a wide variety of vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet, you need a wide variety of physical movements for a healthy body. Every cell in your body needs regular movement to function well. Movement delivers nourishment and washes away waste.
While walking, running or cycling are great ways to get your circulation pumping and your immune-boosting lymph fluid flowing, they move the same parts of you in the same way each time. Time to mix things up! Try some of the ideas below to start moving in every direction, every day, even if you only have a small of space available.
Stand tall and keep your shoulders relaxed. Slowly turn your head to one side, then to the other. Drop your chin to your chest and roll your head to one shoulder then back to the other shoulder.
Hands and feet
Stretch your arm out in front of you at shoulder height, as though you’re making a stop sign with your hand. Gently use the other hand to draw your fingers back and stretch your wrist. Repeat on the other side.
Lift up your big toes. Then lift all your toes and just put your big toes on the floor. You might want to sit down for this exercise if you feel wobbly.
Arms and shoulders
Circle one arm forwards, then backwards. Repeat with the other arm. As a finale, circle both arms at the same time but in OPPOSITE directions!
Imagine your arms are really heavy and swing them in a circle around you, giving your spine a gentle twist. Lift your heels as you twist around to look after your knees
You’ll need to face a wall for this next exercise. Place your hands on the wall a little higher than your head. Walk your feet back a little at a time until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Keep your ribs lifted.
Hips, legs and balancing
Bend your knees and circle your hips in both directions.
Lift your heels and balance on the balls of your feet.
Swing one leg forward and back. Keep your arms still to begin with, then try swinging your arms at the same time as your leg. Swap sides.
Come down onto all fours. Keep your spine neutral, but relax your abdomen so it drops down away from your spine. Rock forwards and backwards, and round in circles, keeping your tummy soft and relaxed.
Lie down on your back in front of a chair and rest your lower legs on the chair seat. Use pillows behind your head or upper back if you need them.
Yoga for beginners
Try a gentle yoga practice, designed to help you move your spine in all directions.