Keep Your Mobility As You Age
There is no doubt that exercise is important for seniors. Although there is some controversy about what types of workouts are best for those who want to stay active but minimize their risks for injuries and chronic diseases such as arthritis.
Maintaining good health for seniors can be difficult but if they perform workouts on regular basis they can improve the flexibility and functioning of their bones and can improve their lifestyle.
Certain exercises can help to slow down the emergence of several diseases such as certain types of cancers, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
In today’s article, I will be discussing 5 simple and important stretching exercises for seniors that will help them in improving the mobility of their joints. In addition to this, I would also recommend high-quality, sweat-wicking, and highly comfortable gym outfits to make your exercise session more convenient.
When seniors should perform stretching exercise?
According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR), seniors can get tremendous benefits by performing stretching workouts. However, research has revealed that certain times of the day are more effective than others for seniors to perform a stretching exercise session. The senior stretching workout should be performed in the morning or the evening. Also, make sure to walk for a few minutes to warm up your muscles.The AAPMR reveals that seniors should make time each day to stretch their muscles. The AAPMR suggests that a 10-minute stretching session is an effective way to maintain a healthy body. The AAPMR states that seniors should perform stretches before and after performing physical activity, such as walking or gardening.
5 CRUCIAL Stretches Seniors Should Do Daily
Standing Quadriceps Stretch
The standing quadricep is an incredible exercise for improving the mobility of your joints and helps enhance the strength of your lower back, hips, and thigh muscles.
How to perform?
- Before performing this exercise make sure to do some warm-up exercises for a few minutes.
- Get support by holding the chair from its back, because you need to balance yourself with one of your legs to perform this exercise.
- Now hold the chair with your right hand, hold your left leg by the ankle with the help of your left hand and gradually start pulling your foot toward the bottom.
- Pause at this position for a few seconds, and repeat the exercise on your right leg as well.
Seated Knee to Chest
The seated knee-to-chest exercise is one of the best exercises for seniors, to increase the stretch in their joints. This exercise also improves mobility in the lower back area. Also, if you perform this workout regularly you can reduce your risk of falls and injuries by enhancing the flexibility in your hips and hamstrings.
- To start this exercise sit up straight on a chair with good posture. Now lean back slightly if you need to, but make sure that your lower back is resting against the seat.
- As you are seated comfortably, hold your left knee and pull it against the chest.
- Keep pulling the ankle, once the stretch is felt in your leg, pause at this position for at least 10 to 20 seconds.
- Now bring your leg back toward the ground. Repeat the workout with your other leg too.
Tightness and stress in the neck and shoulders can lead to tension in the other areas of your body leading to anxiousness, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease, headaches, and more.
Neck pain can be caused due to herniated discs, bulging discs, stenosis, and arthritis. So, it’s important to improve flexibility with neck pain stretches regularly because it will help provide relief and prevent further damage.
Benefits of neck stretch exercises for seniors:
- Reduce neck pain and stiffness.
- Improve the range of motion in your neck.
- Strengthen your muscles around the spine and shoulders.
- Improve your posture.
Pelvic Bridge Roll-Up
Pelvic bridge roll-up exercise is a hip extension workout that increases strength in your lower back, glutes, and abs. Performing this exercise regularly can help you to strengthen your core and maintain a healthy spine especially as you age.
- Lie down facing the ground with knees twisted, arms on the ground, and your palms exposed.
- While being on your stomach, start raising your upper body by lifting it using your shoulders and chest muscles. Your head should remain in contact with the ground at all times during the activity, while your lower body should be at an upward angle of approximately 15-30 degrees.
- After you have raised yourself as much as you can, pause for a few seconds to catch your breath before lowering yourself back down to the floor.
Note: Do not relax your hips completely to avoid over stressing your lower back, keep them slightly lifted throughout this exercise (for seniors).
Also, as I discussed before if you want to improve your overall fitness you need to wear lightweight and stretchable gym attire to make your exercise session productive.
Hip Flexion/Hamstring Mobility
The lumbar region is the lowest and most posterior part of the spinal column in our back. The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae that connect to the tailbone, sacrum, and the rest of the pelvis. Each of the 5 vertebrae has 4 facets. As we get older, these facets are no longer able to move independently from each other, which can lead to stiffness or decreased flexibility. To help keep this area mobile, we can work on strengthening one part of our hip, and stretching the back of our thigh.
You can perform this exercise by starting laying down.
- Start by lying on your back with both of your knees straight and your feet placed firmly on the ground in front of you.
- Now slowly raise one leg as high as possible while keeping the other leg firmly planted on the floor, then lower it back down again.
- Raise your leg as high as you can without straining your back. Repeat the exercise with the other leg, then rest for a minute or two before continuing.
What To Do After Your Stretches
After your workout, you should also focus on your diet and should also keep yourself hydrated to improve your overall fitness. If your body is not hydrated there are chances of muscle soreness and inflammation.
Try to consume a healthy diet with a good proportion of nutrients and should exercise regularly at least 2 to 3 times a day for at least 30 minutes.
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