For many of us, our choice of exercise is greatly influenced by our goals, what is easily accessible and maybe even what our exercise buddies opt for.
The most common choices are walking, swimming, gym training, aerobics, yoga, Pilates or anything else in vogue. And while we give our best to the routine, essentials such as a warm up, cool down, lower back strengthening and range of motion exercises are some components that often get overlooked.
Range of motion is the amount of movement possible when moving a joint from starting position to ending position within the natural range. The better your range of motion, the better you are able to perform day-to-day activities. A limited range leads to stiffness and pain, and even forms of arthritis in cases of extended periods of inactivity.
Range of motion exercises are important to help preserve current joint movement and prevent decrease in flexibility.
- Perform each exercise slowly, without jerks and through the full range of motion.
- Avoid these exercises if you have recently had an injury.
- Range of motion exercises are not stretching exercises, and so the emphasis should be on moving through your pain-free range.
- Those suffering from arthritis or any other disease that limits or restricts movement should perform these or any other exercise only after prior consent from their physician, preferably under the guidance of a trained specialist.
For head and neck
- Head tilt: Gently tilt your head to your right ‘attempting’ to touch your ear to your shoulder. Avoid lifting the opposite shoulder. Bring your head back to neutral position. Now try on the other side. Repeat each side.
- Chin to chest: Attempt to touch your chin to your chest. Next, lift your head up and look towards the ceiling. In this position make sure your mouth is closed. Repeat.
- Half neck rolls: Your starting position for this exercise is with your head turned to your right. From this position gently drop your head down and make a half circle to your left. Reverse and repeat each side.
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