The 5 Top Things You Can Do To Reduce Stiffness
I wanted to answer one of the most common question I get asked about being stiff. We hear this all the time and not just at the clinic.
“Gavin, what advice have you got for someone who isn’t necessarily in a lot of pain, but who is just really stiff in the morning and feels stiff through the day? I feel it slows me down and can’t do things the way I’d like to.
I have plenty of tips and advice to help reduce stiffness.
But first I want to clear up ‘why’ we feel stiff in the first place.
A lot of people we see think that stiffness is something we feel as we get older – and while there’s some truth in that, stiffness isn’t always directly related to how old you are.
Yes, as you get older your joints and muscles might get stiff if you don’t exercise regularly. And it’s true that your joints become less flexible as the lubricating fluid inside them decreases, and the cartilage becomes thinner as you age… But there’s some other points to factor in too.
Not drinking enough fluids and dehydration can also lead to stiff muscles. Muscles are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most water in the body.
Inactivity is another culprit – leaving your muscles in one place for a prolonged period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours etc.) can cause them to stiffen.
Another cause can be related to stress – when we’re in a state of stress, our bodies tighten up as preparation for a “fight or flight” situation. Prolonged stress can lead to you maintaining a tight posture, resulting in strain on the muscles.
So what can you do to reduce the side-effects of stiffness? Here’s five quick and easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you find a life with less stiffness no matter what age you are.
1. Stretch – daily. Ten minutes on a morning when you first wake up, and ten minutes on a night before bed. Doing gentle stretches just before bed can help you get a much better night’s sleep as well. No equipment needed, just you and the comfort of your own home.
2. Walk – It’s time to start making a habit of a regular walk in your daily routine. Start off going for 10 minutes and gradually build up your time and even your pace. Your heart will thank you for it too.
3. Avoid long periods of sitting – Sitting just doesn’t allow muscle to move in the way they are supposed to, causing tightness. We are not designed to sit for long periods. You’re better off laying stretched out on the sofa than you are sitting in a chair for long
periods of time. Standing up and stretching every 30 minutes can help. Check out this video about the one stretch you need to do if you sit long periods. Click HERE!
4. Take a warm bath – with bath salts. The heat and combination of bath salt or will ease your aching muscles almost immediately and will calm your mind. The perfect way to end your day and unwind before getting a good night’s sleep.
5. Drink plenty of water -Seventy percent of your muscles are water. So it makes sense that you need to drink plenty of water to support your body and keep it hydrated. My tip – Drink plenty of water through the day. This also helps the body get rid of any build-up of toxins
It’s sad but a lot of people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal and nothing can be done about it. Stiffness in your joints such as your neck, shoulders, back and knees is a sign that something needs to be done by you.
So there you have it, five things you can very easily put into action in your day as soon as today, to reduce stiffness and prevent it from making daily activities difficult to do.
Don’t accept stiffness as part of life, if you do and you don’t do anything about it, it’s likely to worsen and affect your ability to move freely. Time to change your habits
P.S. If you’re experiencing stiffness in your back which restricts your ability to move without pain, click here to download my free back pain tips guide which includes actionable tips I give to my patients at