Stretching is essential for warming up before exercising, increasing flexibility, and improving balance. As we get older, it gets harder and harder to retain our flexibility and balance. In this article, we explore why maintaining a stretch routine is so important.
The Benefits of Stretching Every Day
Stretching your muscles every morning will start your day off right. It will increase your blood flow and give you more energy throughout your day. You can do dynamic stretching or static stretching. Dynamic stretching involves low intensity body movements that help stretch your muscles and get your heart pumping. Static stretching does not involve movement and encourages lengthening of the muscles. Whether you choose dynamic or static stretches, or a combination, it will increase your energy which is important for leading an independent lifestyle.
Reduce Arthritic Pain Levels
Almost 50% of people 65 and older reported going to the doctor at least once for arthritic pain. Arthritis pain itself can discourage movement and exercising, but it is a must to relieve that pain. There is no cure for arthritis, but the symptoms can be lessened by stretching and exercising. Stretching can improve flexibility and range of motion which relieves joint stiffness. If you have a particularly sore joint, warm it up with a hot shower or heating pad before starting your stretches.
Reduce Risk of Injury
One of the biggest risks seniors have for injury is risk of falling. Senior hospital stays are about twice as long as a non-elderly person after a fall. Shockingly, two-thirds of seniors who fall, will fall again within 6 months. Falls can break or fracture bones, resulting in lengthy hospital stays and rehabilitation. It is so important to do anything you can to prevent falls. They are usually a result of muscle weakness, low flexibility, and bad balance. Working in a stretching routine everyday will increase muscle strength and improve your balance. It is a great way to reduce your risk of falling and bodily injury.
It is important to stretch daily to keep up maximum mobility and independence. Here are some resources for easy, low impact stretches that you can work into your daily routine.
- National Institute on Aging
- Stretching Guide for Seniors
- Silver Sneakers
- American Grandparents Association (AGA)
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