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The 6 Best Mobility Exercises for Longevity, According to an Occupational Therapist

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When it comes to physical activity, the equation is fairly straightforward: The more we move, the better our bodies are able to support movement. However, the converse is also true. The more sedentary we are, the stiffer and weaker we get, so the more difficult movement becomes.

“Many older adults isolate and become sedentary, which is why they have trouble walking and moving when the time comes,” explains Brittany Ferri, PhD, CPRP, an occupational therapist at Medical Solutions Barcelona. “The best way to keep your motion is by practicing, meaning walking, exercising, stretching, and doing anything that keeps you active.”

In particular, mobility exercises can be an essential component to increasing longevity and quality of life, especially for older adults. These are the moves that target the range of motion in our joints (not to be confused with flexibility, which is about increasing length in our muscles). Having greater mobility helps to prevent falls, promote balance and coordination, and maintain independence later into life by allowing us to function better in everyday activities.

How can mobility exercises improve longevity?

Mobility exercises can allow us to stay more active, which helps regulate blood pressure, improves circulation, keeps joints and muscles flexible, and assists with balance, explains Dr. Ferri. “This gives older adults more quality of life for longer.”

By helping us maintain adequate physical strength and balance, mobility exercises keep us safer and more independent, helping us “navigate [our] environment more easily and freely,” says Dr. Ferri. “This helps seniors have control over the activities they want to participate in.”

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