What is Mobility Training & Why is it Important For Longevity?

Hint: It will help maintain your youth!

By: Lexy Parsons

Mobility limitations are common in older adults, affecting about 35% of individuals aged 70 and older. However, maintaining mobility is one of the best ways to preserve your youth. Not only can it help to promote flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health, but by moving regularly and staying mobile, you can also support cognitive function, prevent or manage chronic health conditions, and live a more youthful life. While mobility training is nothing new, the benefits may have escaped you! But, not to worry, we’re here to answer all your questions. As one of the most important components to preventing injury and maintaining long-term youth, we’re breaking down all you need to know, including “what is mobility training?” and more. 

RELATED: The Benefits of Exercise For Improved Quality of Life 

What is Mobility Training 

The terms mobility and mobility training are thrown around a lot. So, what is mobility training, and why is it particularly important for older adults and seniors? 

While you may confuse mobility with flexibility or stretching, there’s more to it than that! Flexibility and stretching involve lengthening your muscles, while mobility takes it one step further. Mobility training aims to optimize movement and functionality by increasing the range of motion in your joints and surrounding muscles. Essentially, mobility training helps improve your muscles’ ability to move your joints while enhancing joint stability. Think of it as a way to keep your body agile, allowing you to perform daily activities with greater ease and confidence!

The Health Benefits of Mobility Training 

The benefits of mobility training for older adults are far-reaching, offering support for various aspects of your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the reasons why you’ll want to incorporate it into your routine for health and longevity.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Say goodbye to unnecessary setbacks in your daily activities! Whether you’re trying to keep up with your pals on the tennis court or hit your daily step goal, keeping your body agile and resilient can minimize the likelihood of falls and other accidents. In fact, studies have shown that incorporating dynamic stretching (a form of mobility training) can reduce the risk of injury, while a lack of mobility training can leave you more vulnerable. 

Improved Everyday Functionality

Mobility exercises help to activate key muscles (that would otherwise remain “turned off”). By strengthening these areas — that you may struggle to activate with other forms of movement and exercise — you can enhance your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as bending, reaching, and lifting. With an increased range of motion in your muscles and joints, you’ll find it easier to navigate your surroundings and maintain your independence as you age!

Improved Joint Health

Speaking of increased range of motion in our joints, mobility training is one of the best ways to maintain and improve overall joint health. Without taking preventative action, it’s natural for joints to become stiffer and more prone to discomfort with age. However, by keeping our joints more supple and lubricated, we can help reduce and prevent age-related issues, such as arthritis and injury.

Better Posture

Despite knowing its importance, we may not fully understand the benefits of good posture. By enhancing balance and stability, good posture minimizes the likelihood of falls and related injuries, which is a very common occurrence in older adults (falls are the primary cause of injury for adults 65 years and older). As another benefit, good posture alleviates discomfort and pain in the neck, back, and joints, which can promote a better quality of life with age. 

RELATED: 6 Simple Habits For Better Posture

How to Do Mobility Training

If you’re wondering how to implement mobility training into your daily routine, start with these three steps! 

Step One: Gentle Warm Up

Start your mobility training session with a gentle warm-up to prepare your body for movement. This could include gentle arm swings, leg swings, and neck rotations to increase blood flow and loosen up your muscles and joints. If you have a foam roller or massage gun, you could also incorporate that for a gentle myofascial release.

Need help getting inspired? Here are some FitOn workouts to help get you started:

Step Two: Range of Motion Exercises

Before jumping straight into your workout (whether it’s golf, tennis, or even a brisk walk), dedicating a few minutes to dynamic stretching can prime your muscles for movement and reduce the risk of injury. Different from passive stretching, which involves holding a fixed position for a period of time, dynamic stretching involves active movements that move your muscles and joints through a full range of motion. This is a little more rigorous than a gentle warm-up, where the focus is more directed on targeting certain areas and muscle groups, such as your hips, shoulders, and spine. 

Give these FitOn workouts a try:

Step Three: Functional Movements & Body Weight Exercises 

Finally, finish your mobility training with a brief set of bodyweight exercises or functional movements. The idea is to strengthen the muscles you’re going to be using in everyday life, to improve mobility and reduce the risk of injury. Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups are perfect, as they mimic movements needed for everyday living, such as standing up from a chair, reaching for items on a shelf, or stepping up onto a curb.

Ahead, some mobility training exercises to add to your workout routine. Plus, some FitOn workouts to consider below:

Adding Mobility Training To Your Fitness Routine 

Ready to reduce the risk of injury and promote longevity? FitOn makes it easy to prioritize mobility training at any age, with fun ways to incorporate it into your everyday fitness routine. To get started, give one of FitOn Mobility workouts a try. By prioritizing mobility training now, you’ll be more mobile and healthy in the years to come!