Helps maintain good ankle flexibility which will assist with walking and standing.
Also helps with knee and hip stiffness.
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We Need To Stretch!
Stretching is an important part of elderly and seniors flexibility and will help offset the effects of normal decline in the flexibility of your joints, and help you remain active and independent.
As we age muscles become shorter and lose their elasticity.
Aging can affect the structure of your bones and muscles causing pain and decreased range of motion in the shoulders, spine and hips.
Stretching is an excellent way to relax and relieve tension if you incorporate breathing exercises and good posture in your stretching program.
It becomes very important for seniors to maintain range of motion and your ability to move all joints normally with activities during the day.
Types of stretching
Generally when we speak of stretching exercises we are talking about either static or dynamic stretching.
Static stretching is the preferred method to create lasting lengthening of a muscle and surrounding tissue, which increases your available range of motion.
We also refer to static stretching as Low load prolonged stretch.
This is the application of a low load over a longer period of time.
To stretch in this manner, simply hold a position for 10 to 30 seconds or more.
Dynamic or oscillatory motions are used to increase available range of motion in a joint.
This can be used in addition to static stretching.
It is a form of stretching that is usually done after you are well warmed up and can tolerate a bouncy pull on your joints.
Static stretching is generally considered the safer choice.
Most older adults and seniors can safely perform stretches
The great thing about stretching is that it can be fun and done almost anytime and any place.
My patients with upper body stiffness due to injury or surgery are encouraged to perform range of motion exercises with the affected body part at least three times per day.
Stretching can greatly help back pain
Stretching can improve your posture
Stretching is beneficial for arthritis
When and how much should I stretch?
Generally elderly and seniors stretching should be done 2 to 3 days per week, performing each stretch 3 to 5 times with a 20 to 30 second hold.
Try one or two stretches for each body region
If you would like to increase your flexibility, stretches should be performed 4 to 5 days per week.
Remember that it is important to warm-up before beginning an elderly flexibility exercise program.
The warm-up is an excellent place to use your stretching exercises.
General flexibility guidelines
Warm up before stretching
Don’t bounce during stretching.
Don’t hold your breath during a stretch.
Stretching should not cause pain, be gentle.
Don’t combine turning and bending back exercises at the same time.To stretch the back relax in a chair by supporting yourself with your hands on your legs while leaning forward.
When performing knee bends, don’t drop your buttock below the level of your knees.This places too much strain on your knees. Better to do shallow knee bends, keeping your feet apart and not locking the knees.Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
Avoid pressing the head backward during head rolls which can damage the vertebrae in your neck.Move the head gently from side to side, never too quickly.
Remember, elderly and seniors flexibility training will only show benefits if it is done regularly with the correct form and duration of stretch.
Upper Body Stretches
Improve your upper back, arm and neck mobility with these excellent stretching routines.
Start a upper body stretching program today by choosing 2 or 3 upper body stretching exercises to perform 3 times per week.
Most stretches can be held for 30 seconds.
Repeat 3 times. You can then choose 2 or 3 new stretches every week.
This will add greatly to the flexibility of your arms, chest and upper back.
So give it a try and see how much better you can reach to those high shelves!
Make sure to download my FREE ebook below to begin your 4 week senior exercise program!