Aimee Lake, DPT, PRPC
You’ve been trying to work from your couch for the past several weeks. You’re suddenly fondly missing your office chair and it’s ergonomic curves. But the end of the lockdown isn’t in sight so you’re looking at somewhere in the ballpark of 4 to 4,000 more weeks of couch working. So what’s to be done?
OK done? Great!
Moving a joint helps to lubricate the bone surfaces to keep them healthier. It helps make the joint fluid more viscous making movement easier and more fluid. It improves circulation of blood to the joint. This means the joint receives more oxygen and its waste gets carried away more effectively.
How should you move all your joints? You can get as unoriginal or as creative as you want. I don’t have a lot of brain space these days for joint creativity (I’m too busy reading websites like this one…). So I’m going for the boring version.
For the sake of simplicity try all these moves about three times each.
Neck: Circle your head one way (1,2,3) and then the other way (1,2,3)
Shoulders: Do windmill circles with your arms one way…and then the other way
Elbows: Bend and straighten, bend and straighten
Wrists: Circle one way…and then the other way
Fingers: Wiggle, wiggle. Like you’re playing the piano
Rib cage: Circles in one direction. Like you’re hula-hooping with your rib cage. Then the other direction
Pelvis: Circles in one direction. Now you’re hula-hooping with your hips. Then the other direction
Hips: OK this is the crazy one. Hips are important. You have to move them in three directions (x, y, and z-axis for you math people).
Knee: Bend and straighten. Bend and straighten
Ankles: With your foot up in the air do circles in one direction. Then the other direction
Toes: Wiggle. Wiggle
YOU MADE IT.
But seriously I know that was a lot of words. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never have to read through it again because it’s pretty intuitive. It also seems long but I just timed myself and the whole thing told 1 minute and 13 seconds. Also full disclosure my whole body sounded like snap, crackle, pop and now my heart is pounding (for the record I’m writing this while sitting on my couch).
So grab your quarantine mate to read the list to you while you try it (or make a Zoom call or something).
“Moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function.”And we all know we want that right now.
If you want to know more here’s a good read.
This could be a walk or a bike ride if you’re allowed out of your house. If you aren’t 5 minutes of jumping jacks or jumping rope will do the trick.
I suggest doing your joint movement dance twice a day and your aerobic routine once a day. And of course, wash your hands.