Aging can take a toll on the body regardless of our age, but stretching can help to loosen up muscles, reduce aches and relax our joints. Here are some stretching exercises for the elderly which can help you keep fit and healthy to maintain overall mind and body well-being.
How Stretching Benefits the Elderly
For majority of older adults, maintaining mobility at an older age can be a tough feat to achieve. Our body undergoes many changes as we age which can make staying fit and mobile even more challenging. Through proper care and exercise, we can strengthen our joints and muscles, thus helping us to mitigate changes and keep our body staying flexible and strong. Staying mobile and active is indeed a challenge for older adults but maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle lets us work our body’s muscles to remain mobile and strong as we age.
Standing Quadriceps Stretch
The first exercise we recommend is the standing quadriceps stretch. This is a highly essential exercise that supports flexibility and mobility in the elderly without being too physically straining. To start:
- Always warm up before stretching by walking around.
- Make use of a chair or the back of a couch for support.
- Hold on to the chair with your left hand and bend your right knee. Use your right hand to grab your leg by the ankle before gently pulling your foot towards your back.
- Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and put your leg down before repeating with your other leg.
Seated Knee to Chest
This lower body stretch is necessary for aging adults as it does not impact just your legs. This exercise improves mobility in your knees and hips as well as the flexibility of your lower back. A nice added bonus about the seated knee to chest exercise is that you do not need to stand so it is suitable for those who have complications when standing up. To start:
- Start off the exercise by warming up your body.
- Sit comfortably in a chair and grasp your right knee while seated. Slowly pull your knee towards your chest.
- Once you feel a stretch, hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Gently put your leg back down and repeat with the other leg.
This simple stretch is great for your calf muscles. The exercise targets your lower body flexibility by improving the deep calf muscles and your overall leg functionality. To start:
- Stand up and face a wall.
- Put your left foot in front of your right and place both of your hands on the wall for support.
- Bend your knees until you begin to feel a stretch. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and slowly stand up and swap the positions of your feet to repeat the exercise.
If you have not been active for quite some time, take things slow and always limber up before begin any stretching exercises. The less tense your muscles and joints are, the more flexible you will become for easier stretching in the future.