December 18, 2020
Reading Time 5 min.

Stretching Exercises for Seniors to Improve Mobility in 14 Days

Seniors should never say they are too old or frail to get started stretching. Besides, wouldn't it be great to gain extra flexibility, mobility, and independence? It is not that hard to develop a stretching routine when you are given access to tried and tested stretching exercises for seniors to improve mobility in as little as 14 days.  

As we get older, our muscles become tight, and we begin to experience more aches and pains than when we were younger. If this is you, then you may want to consider engaging in a daily stretching routine.   

The point of this article is to shed light on doable stretching exercises that will boost their mobility. In fact, we only require about 10 minutes twice a week to stretch major muscle groups and prevent a decline. We also want to highlight the benefits associated with stretching exercises for the elderly. Some exercises that come to mind are seated stretches for seniors and chair yoga for seniors.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS 

white haired man demonstrating stretching exercises for seniors

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Gerontology, participants who took part in a 12-month program that involved a variety of stretching exercises for seniors, the individuals who participated showed positive results with regards to perceived functioning, self-efficacy, and physical fitness. Furthermore, they experienced far less pain.  

The thing with age is that an older person's flexibility will decrease by as much as 50% in some regions of their body. Often, it is hardly noticeable. That is, until one day when you try to get up and realize it is much harder than it once used to be.   

During this stage of the game, seniors turn to assistive medical devices, prescriptions, and in-home carers to assist them in carrying out general everyday activities.   

Unlike most people think, stretching is not something performed only by gymnasts or runners. We all need to stretch to safeguard our mobility. According to a well-known physical therapist, David Nolan, at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, stretching must take place regularly and should be done daily.  

BENEFITS OF DAILY STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS

  • Stretching improves joint movement and posture.   
  • It also leads to the release of muscle tension and soreness, which can the risk of injury.   
  • Exercises to improve mobility tends to boost circulation, muscle strength, balance and coordination.   
  • Stretching exercises for older adults requires hardly any equipment, in most cases, you only need a chair, and it can be performed anywhere.   
  • Your shortened muscles will return to normal length improving strong and health. After all, we need the flexibility to reduce strain on our joints. 
  • By integrating a stretching routine into your weekly program, you will undoubtedly reap the dividends.   

WHY STRETCHING EXERCISES ARE IMPORTANT

Without flexibility, your muscles will shorten and become rigid. Then, when you require them to engage in daily activities, they are sluggish and unable to perform at normal capacity. This increases your risk of joint pain, muscle strain, and damage to your muscles.  

Sitting all day, for example, leads to tight hamstrings. This is the large muscle group that runs down the back of your leg, from the buttocks to just below the knee. That can make stretching your leg or straightening your knee significantly tougher and may inhibit walking. Similarly, the muscles can become impaired from unexpectedly being strained once tight muscles are suddenly needed for a physical exertion that extends them, like playing tennis or other fast movements. Muscles that are injured will not be strong enough to protect your joints or allow for them to function as intended. This can result in damaged joints.  

Regular stretching retains long, lean and flexible muscles, which ensures that exertion will not put too much tension on the muscle itself. To help prevent falls, healthy muscles often aid a person with balance problems.  

BEST STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS  

Before you start exercising it would be useful to take note of the following stretching tips:  

  • Breathe deeply and exhale slowly as you stretch.  
  • To provide the muscle with enough time to relax, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and up to 1 minute.  
  • Avoid ballistic stretching (bouncing) as this can increase your risk of injury.  
  • When stretching, it should feel uncomfortable, even strongly uncomfortable. Hold until the discomfort eases and them stretch a touch more.
  • If you feel sharp pain, unusually strong burning sensation or instability, stop the stretch and consult with a physical therapist to confirm you are performing the stretches correctly.
  • Warm-up by moving around for 5 to 10 minutes before stretching, such as going for a stroll or light activities around the house.

Without any further ado, let's get to the part you've been waiting for: stretching exercises for seniors to improve mobility in 14 days.   

Exercise Program for Seniors

ANKLE CIRCLES  

For those of you who struggle with stiff or weak ankles, which often stand in the way of balancing yourself properly, ankle circles prove to be a great exercise.  

Here is how you do it:  

  • Sit comfortably and straight up in a stable chair,  
  • Extend one leg while keeping the other one on the floor,   
  • Rotate your ankles clockwise and counter-clockwise - Repeat 10 to 20 times  
  • Use the opposite leg to repeat these movements.  

SHOULDER ROLLING  

You can prevent all kind of aches and pains in your shoulder and also the upper back by trying to mobilize your shoulder joints with gentle stretching exercises for seniors. Be sure to keep your upper body relaxed when doing the following:  

  • Stretch your limbs before your body  
  • Bend the elbows  
  • Roll your shoulders in the air by pointing the elbows whilst making circular motions  
  • Repeat a couple of times  

IN CONCLUSION 

Aging is inevitable as it happens to all of us. However, it doesn't mean we should let ourselves and our bodies go by losing our flexibility that would result in tight muscles and immobility.   

As we get older, our muscles start losing their elasticity, and our bones lose density. The secret to keeping ourselves fit is to engage in stretching exercises for seniors as these will fully support our bodies to ensure we experience improved mobility. It is all about living life without restrictions. 

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Other topics of interest:
Is Exercise Safe for Mom
Complete Guide to Aging in Place
Does Mom need Physical Therapy

That is all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

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