FEELING GREAT: It’s vital to remain mobile and agile during the dark months ahead

So the clocks have gone back, it’s dark outside from 4.30 each day and the prospect of exercising outdoors isn’t that appealing.

“Stretch seven minutes on a morning when you first get up and seven minutes on a night before bed .”
“Stretch seven minutes on a morning when you first get up and seven minutes on a night before bed .”

But it’s so important to keep agile and mobile during autumn and winter. My physios at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms get asked regularly by clients of my clinic what they should be doing during the winter months ahead.

Remember: getting stiffer as you grow older doesn’t have to come with a lack of choice. There are things you can do.

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Some people aren’t in a lot of pain but are stiff every day and not able to do things as easily as they would like. It can only get worse in the weeks to come.

With that in mind, here are four quick and easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you push on with less stiffness:-

Swim - daily if possible, but at least twice a week. Problems like arthritis are multiplied when you stop or slow down. Swimming offers a very simple and safe way of keeping joints moving and a regular dose of moving in the water is way better than any medication or magic pills that promise joint lubrication.

Stretch - daily. My tip, seven minutes on a morning when you first get up, seven minutes on a night before bed (doing yoga just before bed can help you get a much better night’s sleep, too.)

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Avoid long periods of sitting - you’re better off stretching full out on the couch than you are sitting in a chair for long periods. We’re not designed to sit and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints, particularly if you’ve had a long day spent in a chair.

Walk - for at least 20 minutes a day. Next time you need to make a long phone call, why not do it on your mobile and take a walk at the same time?

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The sad thing is that most people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal and nothing can be done about it. Stiffness in joints such as your lower back, neck, knees or ankles, is a warning sign that something needs to be done - by you. The day you accept stiffness into your life is a bad one – thereafter, it will not only remain with you, but it will also get worse.

For more tips and advice, please get in touch for a free copy of my book The Healthy Habit. Please call 01429 866771 or visit paulgoughphysio.com.