It’s a typical misconception that aging equates to limited mobility and flexibility. Although it’s true that health conditions including osteoarthritis impact numerous seniors, it’s equally true that there are hands-on steps which can be taken to establish optimum strength and stamina through your later years.
The best approach to enhance mobility and flexibility is to incorporate simple and easy stretching exercises into the daily routine. Stretching leads to better posture and movement of joints, together with diminished muscle soreness and stress. It can also help lower the threat of falls and other accidental injuries, and boosts circulation, balance, coordination and muscle control.
Always remember to check with the senior’s health care provider prior to beginning any new exercise plan, including stretching. Along with his or her consent, the following are wonderful stretches for the elderly:
- Gradually bring down the chin towards the chest area, and rotate your head to one side for a count of 15; then repeat with the other side.
- Clutching a towel in one hand, lift the arm straight up and drape the towel behind your back; then grab the bottom end of the towel with your other hand and stretch downward, holding for a count of 30.
- Lift both arms straight to your 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, lift one foot up and move slowly from one side to the other. Repeat utilizing the other foot.
- While lying on your back, raise one leg, grab onto the back of the thigh, and carefully draw it towards you as the other leg and hip stay on the ground. Try not to pull on the knee. Do it again with the other leg.
- Lay on one side and bend the top leg so your foot is behind you. Grab the foot and pull in the direction of the body until a stretching sensation is felt. Hold for a count of 30 and repeat with the other leg.
- While lying on your back, move both legs and place feet together and flat on the floor. With knees together, slowly and gradually lower both legs to one side, moving the torso until a stretching sensation is felt. Hold for a count of 30 and repeat on the other side.
Remember to keep the following under consideration when undertaking these stretching exercises:
- Inhale deeply and exhale slowly throughout the stretch.
- Use slow, measured movements.
- Never stretch to the point of encountering pain.
- Warm the muscles up before stretching with just a few minutes of physical movement, such as walking.
To get more tips to help seniors improve wellness and range of motion, call the professionals in senior care in Kansas City at Enhanced Home Care. We’re always readily available to provide motivation and encouragement, to take part with seniors in exercise programs, and also to provide transportation and accompaniment to the senior center or gym for exercise classes. For more information about our Kansas City area services, reach out to us at 913-327-0000 and take the first step towards a healthier life for a senior loved one!