Mobility has become a popular buzzword in the sports physical therapy community in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. While it is an important aspect of health and fitness, could mobility be getting more attention than it actually deserves?
What Is Mobility?
The term “mobility” refers the quantity of available movement — and how freely and efficiently you’re able to do so. Popularized by the sports physical therapy and training community, mobility is important for everyone, whether you’re an elite athlete or a busy working Mom.
Mobility is an important part of a well-designed injury rehabilitation and prevention program. It is also used to improve the quality of life for our physical therapy patients in Chevy Chase and Bethesda.
While very important, many experts feel that the booming popularity of mobility overshadows several other key health factors. In particular, the added focus on mobility often leads to a lack of attention on other important health factors, such as strength, cardiovascular health, and other global health behaviors.
What The Mobility “Craze” Makes Us Overlook
Although mobility is an important aspect of a healthy body, mobility alone won’t provide the quick fix you might be looking for. Instead, there are several complex contributing factors that need to be properly managed to improve your overall health.
Lean body mass and strength are some of the greatest indicators of the overall health of an individual. In fact, according to a study done by Harvard University, something as simple as grip strength can help measure an individual’s risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.
Focusing on mobility alone overlooks the importance of strength training. According to The Mayo Clinic, strength training can help you manage or lose weight, increase metabolism, protect your joints and ligaments, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
Another important measure of the overall health of an individual is cardiovascular fitness. A simple way to gauge cardiovascular health is by measuring your resting heart rate — the number of times your heart beats per minute when not physically active.
Although the normal range of a resting heart rate is between 50–100 beats per minute, a resting heart rate greater than 90-100 BPM can put unnecessary strain on the heart. A high resting heart rate has even been linked to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and even heart disease.
By solely focusing on mobility, cardiovascular health may be overlooked.
Global Health Behaviors
Outside of strength and cardio training, there are several other important contributing factors to an individual’s health — specifically sleep, nutrition, and social connection.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your physical health. Not only does sleep heal and repair your muscles, heart, and blood vessels, but a recent study discovered done by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute discovered a link between sleep deficiency and an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
All in all, mobility is only one aspect of staying healthy and active — it isn’t the only thing that should be focused on. Health is achieved through the successful balance of multiple variables, including mobility, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and various other global health behaviors.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive program to improve your health, fitness, and quality of life, our physical therapy team in Bethesda and Chevy Chase can help. Contact us today for a free consultation!