You are never too old to stretch your body out! In fact, if you’re a senior, looking for more mobility and flexibility, stretching may become your best friend. As a senior, you want to play with your grandchildren and for that, you need to be strong. Because flexibility decreases up to 50% with age, you should take a good care of your joints.
So, why not being one of these seniors that don’t turn to prescriptions or assistive medical equipment. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by performing exercises and eating healthy food will prolong your life and you won’t complain in your elderly years about any joint problem.
To increase your flexibility and mobility, try out these stretches by performing them daily…or as often as you can.
Tip: before starting to stretch, you should warmup by doing light exercises.
1. Neck Side Stretch
Image Credits: Neck Side Stretch
– Start by sitting tall in a chair. Gently lean your head to one side, then the next, to warm up your neck.
– Now lift your right arm up and over your head, resting your palm gently on the left side.
– Gently pull your head to the right (very gently – in fact just placing your hand there may be enough weight to cause you to feel the stretch).
– Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
2. Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch
Image Credits: Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch
– Begin standing tall, arms by your sides. Now, reaching behind you with both hands, pull your shoulders back and clasp your fingers together.
– If you feel a stretch already, hold it here. If you can go further, push your clasped hands away from your lower back and gently arc backward.
– Return to standing tall, and repeat.
3. Triceps Stretch
Image Credits: Triceps Stretch
– Sitting tall in a chair (or standing), lift your right arm up over head, bending at your elbow.
– Now, reach your opposite arm up to clasp your elbow, and pull gently in the opposite direction. You should feel a light stretch through the back of your arm.
– Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch arms.
4. Back Stretch
Image Credits: Back Stretch
– Start by standing tall, with your hands on your hips.
– Gently arc backward, looking up toward the ceiling. Hold for about three seconds, then return to standing.
– Repeat 10 times.
5. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Image Credits: Standing Quadriceps Stretch
– Begin standing tall, holding onto the back of a chair or countertop with your free hand for balance.
– Slowly bend your right knee and grasp your foot. At this point, you might already feel a stretch through the front of your thigh.
– Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
– If you’re having trouble reaching your foot with your hand, try using a yoga strap or band, as mentioned above.
6. Ankle Circles
Image Credits: Ankle Circles
– Get comfortable in a sturdy chair, sitting up tall.
– Extend your right leg out in front of you, keeping the other on the floor.
– Begin to rotate your right ankle; 10 to 20 rotations clockwise and 10 to 20 counter-clockwise.
– Lower your leg and repeat on your opposite leg.
7. Seated Hip Stretch
Image Credits: Seated Hip Stretch
– Begin sitting tall in a sturdy chair.
– Cross your right leg over your left, letting the right ankle sit atop your left knee.
– Relax your right hip, letting gravity pull it toward the floor. You may already feel a stretch deep in your hip.
– To go further, gently press down on your right leg and the knee for a deeper stretch.
– Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch legs.
8. Cat-Cow Pose
Image Credits: Cat-Cow Pose
– Begin on the floor on all fours. Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders and your knees are directly beneath your hips. Use extra padding (small pillows, towels, etc.) for extra padding if your knees are sensitive).
– Once you’re in position, inhale, arching your spine and lifting your head and chest toward the ceiling. Hold for a breath.
– Now exhale while pulling in your stomach and dropping your head and neck down (think like a startled Halloween cat).
– Repeat this movement as many times as you like, but do a minimum of 10 to 15 repetitions.
9. Hamstring and Low Back Stretch
Image Credits: Hamstring and Low Back Stretch
– Come into this stretch by lying face-up on your bed or floor. Bend your right leg and slowly move it toward your chest.
– Keep your shoulders flat on the floor as you reach your arms around your right knee (if you can’t reach that far, try holding your pant leg) and pull it toward you.
– You should feel a slight stretch through your low back, glutes, and hamstring as you hold for 30 seconds.
– Repeat on you opposite leg.
Image Credits: Huffingtonpost