How to Avoid Becoming a Bobblehead
If older people paid half as much attention to the strength of their necks as they do to cosmetic issues like unwelcome wrinkles and double chins, the world would be a less injurious and painful place.
Your neck has challenging 24/7 jobs to keep the head (heavy as a bowling ball) erect, mobile, and firmly attached to the torso, while also protecting your delicate spinal cord. All this is accomplished by a relatively small set of muscles that in older adults are shrinking along with all the other skeletal muscles due to aging.
Strangely, for many people, regardless of age, it’s also one of the most overlooked when it comes to exercise. Not surprisingly, the National Institute of Health Statistics says neck pain is second only to back pain as the most frequent chronic pain complaint heard by medical professionals. Much of this neck pain isn’t due to exotic diseases, just a lack of good posture and poor muscle tone in the neck muscles that are under-used and flaccid from hours in front of TV’s and electronic devices.
Older persons should pay special attention to neck strength and range of motion because it plays a critical role in fall protection (balance), every day activities (like looking over the shoulder for on-coming traffic), and injury prevention (falls and car accidents). The neck is a weak spot on the human body; it can become dangerously fragile due to aging IF the muscles are not routinely exercised.
You can keep your neck ready and able to perform with very simple and safe isometric exercises, like the ones in this video. Don’t worry, you won’t end up with a neck like this wrestler. Push gently at first, over time you can apply more pressure, longer.
Note: Talk to your doctor if you have osteoporosis or other problems in your cervical spine prior to doing these exercises.
After doing this routine twice a week for a couple of months, your neck bercomes much stronger and your head more stable. You won’t have to worry about becoming a bobblehead.