Do This One Thing During Your Shower If You Want To Age Well

Most of us follow the same routine every time we shower. While washing our bodies ensures proper hygiene, there's another important benefit to consider. Let's use our backs as an example. For many, their back is an afterthought when it comes to getting sudsy in the shower. And from a hygienic perspective, most of us don't consider our backs to be serious attractors of dirt because we're covering them with clothing most of the time. But consider this: the reaching and stretching that it takes to wash your back can greatly impact your mobility. In fact, movements required to reach and scrub the various places on our backs are similar movements physical therapists use to assess shoulder mobility (via U.S. News & World Report).

Maintaining good shoulder mobility is key to moving easily as we age. Unfortunately, if we lack shoulder mobility, it can lead to difficulty performing activities in our everyday lives, injury, and pain, according to U.S. News & World Report. Injuries and pain can then cause us to avoid using those muscles, and over time, those muscles will shrink or freeze up. Frozen shoulders are particularly common for women in their 40s to 60s. But taking a few moments in the shower to stretch these muscles can be a great way to maintain our mobility.

Showers are the perfect place to stretch our shoulders

Doing brief shoulder stretches consistently is an excellent way to maintain and even increase mobility. And shower time can create a regular reminder to perform these stretches. K. Aleisha Fetters, certified strength and conditioning specialist, told Livestrong, "Maintaining mobility is more about consistency than it is intensity or duration. Taking just 30 seconds a day to be intentional about reaching as far back there as you comfortably can teaches your body that ability is something worth preserving — and even growing."

Ready to scrub? Start by raising one arm up high and reaching down behind your neck as far as you can. Then drop the same arm down by your side and reach up your back, scrubbing as you go. Repeat with the other arm. The same movements used to wash your back are used to put on a bra or reach for something on the top shelf in the closet. In short – washing your back is not just about keeping your back clean. It can significantly improve your shoulder and neck health as you age, according to Livestrong.