A typical misconception is that aging unequivocally equates to diminished mobility and flexibility. Although it’s true that health conditions such as osteoarthritis impact a large number of seniors, it is also true that you can find proactive measures that can be taken to ensure optimum strength and stamina through your later years.
One of the better approaches to boost mobility are simple flexibility exercises that add basic stretching techniques into the daily routine. Stretching leads to enhanced posture and movement of joints, coupled with reduced muscle discomfort and stress. It can also help lower the danger of falls and other accidental injuries, and improves circulation, balance, coordination and muscle control.
Always remember to check with the physician before beginning any new fitness program, and this includes stretching. Along with his or her permission, the following are great stretches for older adults:
- Slowly and gradually bring down the chin towards the chest, and rotate 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 vertically and drape the towel behind the back; and then grab the bottom end of the towel with the other hand and stretch downward, holding for a count of 30.
- Raise both arms straight off to the 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 move slowly from one side to another. Repeat utilizing the other foot.
- While lying on your back, lift one leg, grab onto the back of the thigh, and carefully pull it towards you as the other leg and hip stay on the floor. Try not to pull on the knee. Do it again using the other leg.
- Lie on one side and move the top leg so your foot is behind you. Reach for the foot and draw it 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, move both legs and put feet together and flat on the floor. With knees together, carefully 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:
- Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly during the entire stretch.
- Use slow, measured movements.
- Try not to stretch to the level 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 improve mobility and reduce fall risks, call the professional providers of home health services in Belleville, IL and nearby areas at Morning Glory Home Care. We’re always on hand to offer motivation and encouragement, to take part with seniors in exercise programs, and to provide transportation and accompaniment to the senior center or gym for exercise classes. To learn more about our exceptional home health services in Belleville, IL and the surrounding area, email or call us at 618-667-8400 and make the initial step towards a healthier life for a senior loved one!