Stretching exercises as part of a daily routine can have measurable health benefits. As our bodies age, we are compounding years of use, injury and in some cases neglect. Though some of these effects will not be reversible, it is possible to help your body maintain flexibility and fluidity with a regular routine of stretching exercises. The aim of this is not to retain the ability to do a full split or complex Yoga pose, but to maintain joint fluidity and comfort to ensure daily movement such as stairs, reaching, or bending is not restricted or painful.
By improving or maintaining your flexibility with regular stretching exercises as you age, range of motion can be kept at higher levels, pain can be reduced, and posture and balance improved. Stretching is also shown to reduce and relieve tension and tress which helps maintain a positive and relaxed mindset. Adults over the age of 65 can benefit from regular stretching exercises as part of a healthy routine.
With age, also comes a common trend of slowing down and reduced activity. Generally, exercising is reduced, and outdoor activities become less frequent. With this decrease in activity and movement the body becomes more adapted to a sedentary lifestyle. This has accompanying issues such as lack of strength, flexibility, and comfort in movement. It is however possible to help correct this, and this article will cover some stretching techniques and habits you can do yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Morning Stretching Exercises for Seniors
If you are wanting to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, beginning your day with a series of movements will be a positive start to your day and help your body prepare for any tasks or outings you may have planned. As long as you have no underlying conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or hypermobile joints, beginning with basic stretches 2-3 times a week and working up to a level that is comfortable for you is recommended. The following videos demonstrate a series of stretching exercises to incorporate into your regular routine.
“Morning Stretches for Seniors”
“10 Minute Morning Stretch for Seniors”
“5 Minute Stretch Routine for Seniors”
“Standard Pilates Warm-Up and Stretch For Seniors”
“Full Body Gentle Stretch fir Seniors and Beginners”
Chair Stretching Exercises For Seniors
If balance, strength, or injury are a factor in your ability to perform any type of exercise, chair stretching may be a viable option to allow you to work on your flexibility and movement without the risk of tripping or falling. Chair based exercises can help develop your cardio fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility. Chair exercises will keep your joints flexible, improving your range of motion and mobility. They also strengthen and stabilize your muscles, resulting in improved balance, which is key for preventing falls and injuries.
Make sure you are using an appropriate chair for any exercise you will be doing. An ideal chair for this will be a stable, straight-back chair with no wheels. It may be tempting to use an armchair or rocker but that will not offer the same support or range of movement. A kitchen chair with a fastened seat cushion is ideal. The following videos are examples of chair stretching exercises that can be done easily in the home.
“7 Minute “Good Morning!” Chair Workout for Seniors, At Home”
“Seated Exercises for Older Adults”
“Seated Stretches For Seniors | 8 Stretches”
“Senior Fitness – Simple Stretching Chair Exercises for Seniors”
“Chair Stretches for Seniors”
Golf Stretching Exercises for Seniors
Golf is a popular activity among older adults and seniors. This slower paced yet challenging, social sport is popular with older adults for being a safer sporting option. However, seniors are prone to injury, and without stretching and preparation a long day on the green can leas to discomfort or injury. One of the main issues seen in older players has to do with posture. Decades of work and living will have reinforced a hunched over position in some people, to the point where it’s become a default posture, affecting the accuracy of your swing.
Balance is something that every golfer should be working on, but it’s even more crucial if you’re a senior player. A lack of balance out on the course has some predictable outcomes. You will be sacrificing power because you’re going to be tentative with your takeaway, downswing, and follow-through, for fear of losing your balance. Accuracy will also be affected by hesitancy in your swing. Though it is a rational fear as falls are one of the leading causes if fatal injuries among seniors. Working on your balance has multiple benefits. The following videos are examples of stretches beneficial for golfers. The following stretching exercises will help benefit golfers and non-golfers alike.
“Stretches and Flexibility for Senior Golfers”
“Strength and flexibility exercise for senior golfers”
“Over 50 Golfer?”
“Best Golf Stretch for Longer Drives for Golfers Over 50”
“6 Mobility Exercises For Golfers Over 60”
The advice in this article should be used as a guide only and not be used as or substituted for medical advice. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program consult your regular physician. Please do not attempt any of the exercises in the videos mentioned if they cause discomfort or pain.