5 Stretches that Seniors should do on a Daily Basis

With age, you might notice that your body feels more tense and takes longer to loosen up than it used to. You might be more prone to muscle strain and fatigue, and may rely on heating pads and over the counter pain medication to help with body aches. While it might be tempting to stay in bed or sit for long periods of time, now more than ever it’s extremely important to move your body. We’re not suggesting that you should be going to the gym everyday; however, in addition to a daily short walk, you should be stretching your body at least twice a day – once in the morning and again in the evening. Stretching in the morning preps your body for the day ahead by activating your muscles, and minimizes any tenseness that may lead to pain. Stretching in the evening releases any tension that you’ll want to get rid of before laying down to rest. If you’re not quite sure which stretches are best for you and your age, we have 5 great suggestions for you.

Overhead Side Stretch

The Overhead Side Stretch is great to loosen up your outer torso and hips. Start by standing with your feet hip-length apart. Raise your hands over your head and interlace your fingers. Bend to one side until you feel the stretch along the opposite side of your body. Hold this for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Be sure to do the overhead side stretch after you get out of bed or after sitting in one position for a long period of time.

Shoulder Stretch

The Shoulder Stretch is great for everyone but especially necessary for seniors who get tight and achy shoulders. First, stand tall with your back straight and your feet hip-length apart. Take your right arm and cross it over your chest. Then, take your left hand and place it on your right arm and gently pull it closer to your body. Hold for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch through your upper arm and in your inner shoulder joint.

Tricep Stretch

The Tricep Stretch is another great stretch to get your arms ready for the day. You can choose to stand with your feet hip-length apart or sit tall in a chair. Raise both hands straight above your head and then bend your right arm back behind you. Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently push in towards your head. Hold for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch along your tricep.

Try to do this several times throughout the day for best results.

Calf Stretch

It’s very important to stretch your calfs before engaging in any exercise, even a light walk. Calfs tend to get very tight and are more prone to injury. To stretch your calfs, start by stepping your right foot 2 feet in front of your left foot. Slightly bend your right leg while leaving your left leg straight behind you. Gently lean into your right heel to feel a more intense stretch. If you’re concerned about balance, feel free to lean against the wall or rest your hand on a chair during this stretch.

Laying Knee to Chest Stretch

The Laying Knee to Chest Stretch is recommended post-work out. You’ll need a yoga mat for this stretch as you’ll be laying down. Start by laying on your yoga mat with your legs straight. Raise your right leg and slowly bend it as you bring your knee towards your chest. Grasp the back of your thigh with both hands and gently pull your leg towards you for a more intense stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

No matter which stretches you choose, daily stretching is extremely important to your physical health and is sure to keep you feeling limber and flexible. Just be sure that you’re doing these stretches safely and not pushing your body too far out of your comfort zone.

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