It is a common assumption that aging unquestionably corresponds to decreased mobility and flexibility. While it’s valid that conditions including osteoarthritis impact a lot of elders, it is true that you can also find hands-on steps to guarantee maximum strength and stamina throughout your later years.
Among the best ways to improve senior mobility and flexibility is through incorporating basic stretching techniques into the daily routine. Stretching leads to better posture and movement of joints, as well as reduced muscle soreness and stress. It may also help lower the danger of falls and other injuries, and improves circulation, balance, coordination, and muscle control.
Always check with the physician before you begin any new fitness regimen, and this includes stretching. Together with his or her consent, the following are great stretching exercises for older adults:
- Slowly and gradually lower the chin towards the chest area, and move your head to one side for a count of 15; then repeat with the opposite side.
- Clutching a towel in one hand, lift the arm straight up and drape the towel behind your back; and then grab the bottom end of the towel using 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, raise one foot up and shift slowly from one side to the other. Repeat using the other foot.
- While laying on your back, lift one leg, grab onto the back of the thigh, and gently pull it towards you while the other leg and hip stay on the floor. Try not to pull on the knee. Do it again using the other leg.
- Lay on one side and move the top leg so that your foot is behind you. Grab the foot and pull towards 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, bend both legs and put feet together and flat on the floor. With knees together, slowly and gradually bring down both legs to one side, twisting the torso until a stretching sensation is felt. Hold for a count of 30 and repeat on the other side.
Always keep the following under consideration when performing these stretching exercises:
- Inhale deeply and exhale slowly through the stretch.
- Use slow, controlled movements.
- Do not stretch to the point of feeling pain.
- Warm the muscles up just before stretching with a few minutes of physical activity, such as walking.
To get more strategies to help seniors remain involved and thriving, contact the team at Absolute Companion Care. We’re always available to provide motivation and encouragement, to participate with seniors in exercise programs, and to provide transportation and accompaniment to the senior center or fitness center for exercise classes. Email us or call us at 410-357-9640 to take the initial step towards a healthier life for a senior loved one, and to learn more about our expert caregivers in Baltimore! Or visit our Service Area page to see all of the areas where we offer service.