It is not uncommon to believe that aging equates to diminished mobility and flexibility. While it’s true that conditions such as osteoarthritis impact a large number of older adults, it is equally correct that you can find proactive measures to help guarantee maximum strength and stamina within your later years.
Among the best methods to boost mobility and flexibility is by starting a daily stretching routine. Stretching leads to superior posture and movement of joints, in addition to reduced muscle soreness and tension. It can also help decrease the risk of falls and other injuries, and boosts circulation, balance, coordination and muscle control.
Always remember to check with your physician prior to beginning any new exercise regimen, including stretching. With his or her approval, the following are superb stretches for the elderly:
- Slowly lower the chin to the chest, and move your head to one side for a count of 15; then repeat with the opposite side.
- Holding a towel in one hand, raise the arm straight up and drape the towel behind your back; then take hold of the bottom end of the towel with the other hand and stretch downward, holding for a count of 30.
- Lift both arms straight out to your sides, with palms facing forward; slowly reach the arms straight back until a stretching sensation is felt, and hold for a count of 30.
- From a seated position, lift one foot up and move slowly from one side to another. Repeat utilizing the other foot.
- While laying on your back, raise one leg, grab onto the back of the thigh, and gently pull it towards you as the other leg and hip stay on the floor. Try not to pull on the knee. Do it again with the other leg.
- Lie on one side and move the top leg so your foot is behind you. Grab the foot and pull to the body until a stretching sensation is felt. Hold for a count of 30 and repeat using the other leg.
- While lying on your back, move both legs and put feet together and flat on the ground. With knees together, slowly and gradually bring down both legs to one side, rotating the torso until a stretching sensation is felt. Hold for a count of 30 and repeat on the other side.
Be sure and keep the following under consideration when completing these stretching exercises:
- Inhale deeply and exhale slowly throughout the stretch.
- Use slow, controlled movements.
- Never stretch to the point of encountering pain.
- Warm the muscles up right before stretching with just a few minutes of physical movement, such as walking.
For additional ideas to help seniors continue to thrive and stay well, call Anthem Home Care, one of the top home health agencies serving Corpus Christi, Texas and the surrounding areas. We are always on hand to provide motivation and support, to participate with seniors in exercise programs, and to provide transportation and accompaniment to the senior center or fitness center for exercise classes. Call us at 361.643.2323 or reach out via our online contact form to learn about our services and take the first step towards a healthier life for your senior loved one!