• Deanne Pandey

These stretches are proven to help you age well!

Ageing can take a toll on the body, but stretching is a great way to reduce aches, loosen up muscles and relax your joints. For many older adults, maintaining mobility at an older age can be quite difficult. Our bodies, like any machine, undergo many changes as we age, which can make staying active and mobile all the more challenging. Through proper care and exercise, however, we can strengthen our muscles and joints to help mitigate changes and keep our bodies strong and flexible. Staying active and mobile can be a challenge, but maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle means that we are working our body’s muscles to stay strong and mobile well into old age. In addition to helping you feel better, improving flexibility can also improve balance, decrease back pain, alleviate fatigue, and even help you feel clearer and sharper mentally. No matter your level of activity, stretching exercises for seniors are an important addition to your routine. Stretching exercises yield many health benefits for seniors ranging from injury prevention to mobility maintenance. Yet, like any exercise, make sure to listen to your body as it is much more sensitive to slow movements than in your younger days. The goal here is not to “feel the burn,” but to gently bring your muscles to life. Before beginning your exercise, it’s important to ensure you have the proper equipment and space required. One of the best parts about stretches is that your routine is completely customizable.

Here are some simple stretches that will surely help you age better-

  1. Chest stretch- To stretch it out and improve your posture at the same time, start standing in an erect position. From there, clasp your hands behind your low back and gently raise your arms as far as you can. Keep your head held high, your shoulders back, and your chest lifted. Hold the pose for 10 seconds.

  2. Neck and Shoulder- To stretch your neck and shoulders, move your arms in front of you with your elbows touching, and your hands pointed towards the sky, palms facing you. From there, place the palms of your hands on top of your head and use your arms to gently drop your chin to your chest and exert mild downward pressure on the top of your head.

  3. Toe reach- Allow your back the opportunity to get long and loose by doing a simple toe touch. To start the stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart. From there hinge at the hips and extend your arms down toward your toes, keeping as flat a back as possible the entire time.

  4. Hand Stretch- The hand stretch is ideal for seniors who write, type, or draw often, or those who have arthritis in their hands or fingers. To do the stretch, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. From there clasp your hands together in front of you. Once you’ve done that, turn your hands out so that the palms are facing away from you and the fingers are still interlocked. Gently push out, so you feel the stretch in the backs of your fingers and hands.

  5. Hula hoop stretch-The hula hoop stretch is a great one for anybody who sits for long periods of the day or occasionally uses a wheelchair to get around. Designed to increase mobility and loosen tension in the hips, the hula hoop stretch is perfect for seniors of all ages.

Try out these stretches to age healthy and let us know how they work for you!

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