What’s the most crucial exercise for a senior to do every day? Believe it or not, it’s as simple as touching your toes. Do you know the benefits of stretching for seniors?
Benefits of Stretching for Seniors
Did you know seniors should get 150 minutes of exercise a week? That may sound like a lot, but the benefits of being an active senior are worth it. You also don’t have to spend all that time pumping iron or running laps at the gym. Even an exercise that appears “easy” can give you some great results. For example, adding some stretching to your daily routine can significantly impact your overall physical health. What are the benefits of stretching for seniors?
Stretching Can Help with Senior Aches and Pains
One of the factors that can make physical activities difficult for seniors is chronic pain. Many seniors struggle with issues like arthritis, which can make movement painful. If you’re one of those seniors, a daily stretching routine could bring you some relief. Stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, alleviating swelling and stiffness in the joints and making overall movement much more manageable. If you have severe joint pain, you can make stretching easier by warming up with a heating pad before you stretch and cooling down with an ice pack after.
Stretching Reduces the Risk of Falling
Seniors know that fall prevention is vital to avoiding injuries and maintaining a good quality of life. Stretching can be a powerful tool to add to your fall prevention arsenal. Studies show that stretching can improve a senior’s balance and muscle strength, which makes falling less likely and also eases recovery if a fall does occur. Plus, stretching can help you improve your posture and give you a greater range of motion, which will help you move more confidently and lower the risk of accidental injury.
Stretching Makes Staying Active Easier
One of the hardest things about starting exercise is that getting started can feel like a real challenge if you aren’t already doing it. Even if you don’t have health issues like arthritis, movement can be difficult if you have lower energy levels or don’t feel good in your body. Stretching helps by promoting blood flow and gently repairing neglected muscles, which results in higher energy levels and even helps your body absorb nutrients more easily. Even if all you do is sneak in a quick stretch or two every morning, you’ll feel the benefits. And before you know it, you may wish to try a more ambitious routine!
How Can I Get Started with Stretching?
Now that you know the benefits of stretching for seniors, you’re hopefully ready to start your routine. As with any movement practice for seniors, it’s essential to get started safely and make a plan first:
- Before starting any exercise routine, talk to your doctor. They can help you navigate existing health issues and determine how to adapt a routine to your needs.
- If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up your endurance. It’s better to do a little bit every day than risk an injury that can derail your progress!
- Look for movement resources targeting seniors, such as Silver Sneakers. They’ll have routines and adaptations that are tailor-made for seniors like you.
The benefits of stretching for seniors are significant, so don’t miss out. How can you make stretching a part of your daily routine?
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