When your body is strong and flexible, it’s easier to be active and self-reliant. However, many people encounter significant physical limitations at some point in their life, especially as they grow older and move less.
Even though there are a million different kinds of exercise programs, most of them don’t focus specifically on increasing mobility. There are exercises for strength, speed, or cardio health, but it’s rare that an exercise regimen actually teaches you how to increase your range of motion.
Fortunately, Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong offer great insights you can use to improve your physical mobility. In this blog, we’ll share three of these principles that have been used for thousands of years to help practitioners cultivate long-lasting mobility, even through the process of growing older.
1. Pay Attention to the Forces of Nature to Improve Physical Mobility
Paying attention to the forces of nature may not seem like a “key” to physical mobility, but in truth, it’s an important element for all aspects of your health. In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, the energies of nature hold great wisdom that you can channel in your own life.
If you look at the world around you, you’ll notice that the movements in nature are graceful and beautiful. When a tree blows in the wind, its branches dance effortlessly with each gust. This demonstrates a delicate blend of strength and flexibility. When a deer runs, its movements are so precise that it almost appears to be ‘flowing’ through the forest. Each animal has its own, unique way of moving, but all of them are in tune with the forces of nature.
Nature exists within and around you
The forces of nature exist both within and around you. For example, gravity is a natural force that constantly affects your physical body. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of this force in order to relate to it in a healthy way. If you have a habit of slouching in your chair, the natural force of gravity can cause a variety of back problems. On the other hand, if you can align your body with the force of gravity by cultivating a healthy posture and not sitting too much, your joints will be healthier.
Balance is another important force of nature that is important to pay attention to. When it comes to physical mobility, strive to cultivate a balance of strength and flexibility. Together, these two qualities lead to resilience. Resilience is one of the ultimate gifts that determines your level of physical mobility. By being aware of the forces of nature within and around you, you’re one step closer to cultivating the qualities you need in order to become more mobile.
2. Engage in a Variety of Movements and Activities to Improve Physical Mobility
The best way to cultivate the right balance of strength and flexibility is to engage in a variety of different movements and activities.
If you only do one type of physical activity, you’ll likely become really good at that one thing. However, you’ll also cause your body to become imbalanced, which can easily lead to an injury. For example, lifting weights at the gym may make you strong. But, it could also lead to a pulled muscle if you’re not doing enough stretching exercises as well.
To ensure that you’re doing a variety of movements, try to find several different activities that you enjoy. Hiking, swimming, running, dancing, pickleball, and yoga are just a few choices that can help you develop a well-rounded set of activities. Of course, Qi Gong is another option that integrates a vast variety of different movements in one practice. In just one practice, you can focus on building strength, flexibility, and balance. Not to mention, Qi Gong is great for letting go of stress or anxiety.
3. Be Consistent with Your Movement Practice
Knowing how to improve physical mobility is the first step to progress. The next step is following through and establishing some positive habits.
Like most things in life, it’s important to be consistent with your movement practice in order to see improvements. Set aside at least twenty minutes each day to engage in an activity that aligns with your movement goals. In general, it’s best to switch off between activities that engage different parts of the body. It’s also important to make sure that you’re choosing activities that help with both strength as well as flexibility.
If you’re just beginning a new exercise routine, you may want to start slow. In other words, don’t overdo it in the beginning. Not only might you injure yourself if you do too much, but you could also become discouraged if it’s too difficult. Instead, start with physical activities that feel manageable, and work your way up from there.
Some people establish a weekly activity schedule that alternates. On some days, they focus on strength. During others, they focus on flexibility-improving activities. For example, perhaps Mondays and Wednesdays are hiking or walking days, while Tuesdays and Fridays are for a sport or class of your choosing. There are many different ways to ensure that you’re taking in a variety of different movements each week, so just try to find a flow that works well for you.
Learn Qi Gong Practices to Increase Strength and Flexibility…
Strength and flexibility are two of the most important elements when it comes to improving your physical mobility.
Most workouts only address one of those qualities. If you go to the gym and lift weights, you might get strong, but your muscles and tendons can become tight and inflexible. If you only do stretching exercises, you might be flexible, but your body won’t have the strength it needs to move freely.
Fortunately, our on-demand Qi Gong for Strength and Flexibility workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn how you can harness both strength and mobility.
In this on-demand workshop, Lee teaches powerful practices designed to help you cultivate greater strength and flexibility throughout your entire body. As always, Lee combines lecture-style presentations with a variety of different movement exercises to help you gain a full understanding of the practices he shares.
When your body is strong and flexible, it’s easier to move around and enjoy the activities you love. Click on the banner below to discover how Qi Gong can help you reach your full physical potential.