Increasing mobility when you struggle with movement can be a difficult task both physically and mentally. Keeping up the motivation to increase it can be difficult, especially if you are not seeing improvements immediately. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the changes you are making are small and manageable. Many people with impaired mobility may experience “good days” where it feels much easier and, while it may be tempting, doing too much on these days may lead to negative consequences the next day, due to the unexpected strain on your joints. We have put together some simple tips to improve mobility without pushing yourself too far.

Incidental Activity

Incidental activity is unintentional activity that builds up in small amounts throughout the day. This could for example be built up when walking to the shops or doing housework. If you have impaired mobility these activities could prove to be very difficult, so it may be best to increase your incidental activity in more manageable areas. One way to do this could be by making a rule that meals are always eaten out of bed. Walking to the kitchen/dining room is a small but effective way to add to your total incidental activity for the day. The key is to focus on movement not exercise!

Small Walks

Trying a small walk down the road, or to a close by park/shop is a great way to increase mobility! If you are only just starting out trying this, it may be smart to bring someone along (possibly with a wheelchair or walking aid) to help you in case you need it. This will prevent the possibility of any falls that could result in further problems. Of course, some days it will be a lot easier to do this, and it is important to not put too much pressure on yourself and push too far, as this can do more harm than good.

Small activities to increase range of mobility

If going on a walk feels like too much, there are some smaller exercises that make sure you are still keeping your body active. An example is rolling your wrists/ankles when sat down. This is great because it can be done while doing otherwise sedentary activities such as watching television, and can be implemented daily, as opposed to walks which may be better to be scheduled once or twice a week.


Swimming is perfect for those with joint pain who want to improve mobility- the water takes the pressure off the joints and makes it a lot easier to increase activity levels with less pain. Many swimming centers offer special mobility classes exactly for this. These classes are also a great way to meet other people who have the same goal as you and support each other in your shared journey to improve your mobility.


Balance can often be a big worry for people when trying to improve mobility. The anxiety around falls can sometimes act as a barrier to your goal, but there are many ways to ease this worry. Tai Chi has been proven to improve balance, through guidance by an instructor. There are also classes specifically for improving balance and movement offered by some Tai Chi instructors that could be great to get involved with. If you don’t have a way of getting to these classes, there are many great tutorials and online classes taught professionally (check out YouTube for some free options!)