As we grow older, our muscles tend to shorten. These can make even the most simple movements difficult. Stretching exercises are one of the most important exercise that a senior citizen needs to undertake to doing, for this reason. Stretching exercises are easy, low impact, and if done regularly, they’ll help keeping muscles elongated. Seniors who regularly perform stretching exercises have better range of motion, better posture and find that stretching lessens back pain and can help ease the discomfort of arthritis.
If you’re a senior and would like to begin stretching exercise, first make sure that you have the go ahead from your doctor. When you begin to practice stretches, remember, to be gentle. Stretching may cause a pulling sensation in the muscles and joints. However, stretches should never hurt. Stretches are best done slowly, and placed in position for up to 30 seconds. Do not bounce while you’re doing stretching exercise. Go slow at the beginning to warm up, then add more difficult stretches after you have worked your muscles a bit. It is important to stretch both upper and lower body muscles. Here are a few ideas for stretching exercises for seniors.
To widen the discussion about lower back arthritis stretches)…
Either standing, or sitting in a chair, lift both of your arms up from your side, and up over your head. Extend them as fully as possible and keep the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly lower your arms back to your side. Repeat 5-10 times. You can also alternate arms, still holding the stretch in place, and bending slightly over your head to stretch out your side. Do not twist your body.
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Again, either sitting, or standing, tip your head to one side gently until you feel a pull and keep the stretch for 20 seconds, then bring your head back up and stretch the other side of your neck. Repeat these stretches several time.
Clasp your hands behind your back and slowly raise your arms as far as you can and keep the position for 20-30 seconds. Slowly lower your arms and then repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
To stretch out your hips, sit on a chair with both feet on the floor. Cross one leg over the other until your ankle is resting on the knee of the bottom leg. Hold this position for as long as comfortable, then gently lower the top leg and repeat on the other side.
Sitting on a firm chair, slowly raise one leg until it is fully extended, hold the stretch while raising your foot and pulling it toward your body, pushing your heel out. Do not grab your foot. Let your leg do the work. Hold the stretch then lower your leg and repeat using the other leg. Alternate back and forth between the two legs 3-5 times.
Standing up, place your hands on your sides at the bottom of the back region. Stand tall and open your chest cage, bringing your shoulders back and stretching your neck up. Hold the stretch, release and repeat. This is a great stretch to work out kinks and tension accumulated during the day.
Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it, too, is a good idea to stretch each day. Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.
Stretching exercises can be made throughout the day, and many can be made almost any place, and without special equipment required. The more you stretch, and enter into the habit of doing stretching exercises, the longer you’re likely to remain limber and on the go.