Here at Quality Family Care, we understand that physical exercise is essential for health and life expectancy. But do you know that flexibility is crucial to your health as well, particularly as individuals grow older?

When you have a wider range of motion, you’re less likely to become injured while working out or doing daily endeavors. Stretching will help your body to walk, lift, and bend effortlessly and it will even help you decrease pain and stress. So why not begin right now?

Start warming up by strolling outside or in place for 5 minutes. This will warm up your joints as you start to stretch. Then, begin with a basic stretching regimen that you can do for 10-15 minutes daily, a minimum of 3-4 days weekly.

Be sure to utilize stretches that pinpoint the following body areas:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders and upper arms
  • Arms, chest, and shoulders
  • Back
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Neck Side Stretch

A basic stretch to begin with is the side stretch. It’s a great stretch to perform in the morning. For the neck side stretch, sit tall in a chair and carefully lean your head to one side then to the opposite side. Then, settle your palm on the left side of your head and delicately pull your head to the right. Maintain for 20-30 seconds. Now, repeat the stretch on the right side.

You may have done stretches previously, but make certain to look online, acquire a book or video from the library, or join a local class to learn the best ways to do the proper stretches appropriately. Some tv networks provide stretching and other exercise videos through local programs or through “on demand” services.

Advice

Here are a couple of extra tips to assist you as you start to stretch:

Never lock your joints when stretching.
Stay clear of sudden jerking motions when stretching and don’t push a stretch that feels unpleasant.
Do not hold your breath. Breathe as you stretch.
Move slowly and carefully, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds preferably.
Try a stretch a second time, reaching further each time if you can do so without discomfort.
If you have had a surgical procedure, ask your doctor prior to stretching.
The National Institute on Aging is just one of many institutions that offers internet-based details on exercising for elderly people.

NIH's Go4Life flexibility movements