Joe Wicks spends most of his time jumping around our phone and TV screens, fulfilling his mission to help get people everywhere feeling fitter, healthier and happier. But despite his seemingly endless supply of energy, he does slow down, and the Body Coach has been using short stretching sessions to build better mobility and flexibility as he ages.
Our bodies will decline as we age, and muscle strength and joint mobility will drop during the age-related process of muscular atrophy. Fortunately, we can try to combat this as early on as possible. While there are things like the best supplements for joints to help relieve aches and pains, you can also tackle things yourself with some simple stretching exercises.
Some of you may have tried this Joe Wicks' 10-minute joint-friendly workout last year and are now looking for more ways to protect your bones and muscles from age-related pains or injuries later in life. Wicks very recently shared on Instagram that he has been spending the last year working on improving his own flexibility and mobility, and now recommends everybody tries this.
Part of his caption read, "Like all aspects of fitness it takes work, dedication, commitment and discipline. I don’t enjoy doing it. It’s probably the most uncomfortable thing to do but stretching is so important if we want to live pain-free and working on the range of motion in your joints is essential for longevity as we get older. I want to be strong but I also want to be able to move my body well and freely as I get older."
If you feel like you're already quite flexible and mobile, you may actually be surprised at how much more you can improve with daily stretching. Wicks shared two photos with a year apart of his own progress he's made and there's a noticeable change in how deep a stretch he can now hold.
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Our daily lives can become a lot more sedentary as we get older, and this can lead to a lack of circulation and overall weakness in the body. As a result, you can become more susceptible to falls and injuries hence why Wicks is keen for everyone to benefit from stretching.
And there is research supporting this advice, a small study published in The Journal of Physiology (opens in new tab) discovered that individuals who performed leg stretch five times a week for 12 weeks experienced improved blood flow and reduced stiffness compared to others who didn't stretch at all.
The stretching sessions completed for the study above lasted for 40 minutes but Wicks said he only spends around 15 minutes a day stretching. He admits he can find it boring sometimes so he makes sure he can distract himself - even if this means a mid-meeting pigeon pose.
"I might do a pigeon pose or hip flexor low lunge stretch whilst watching TV or sometimes I sit on the floor in this splits position whist on a zoom call. That may seem silly but no one cares and it’s the only way I get to fit it in my day," Wicks explained.
Stretching won't get you results overnight but the progress will feel good as you slowly progress. Plus, it can be a nice mindful activity to engage in before or after a busy day. Why not get yourself a best yoga mat from our guide and start loosening up your joints before they catch up with you.
Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition.
When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.
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