Guide to Stretching Out The Years
Just because the years are catching up with you doesn’t mean it has to show. After all, as the old adage goes, “age is only a number.” For older adults, stretching is an important part of keeping the reminders of your aging physiology at bay. With age come stiffness, poor posture, poor circulation, and achy joints – all of which can be alleviated simply by stretching every other day for about five to ten minutes each time. So, where do you start? Here are some helpful tips to guide you through the process:
- Get warm. Because your muscles tend to loosen up after a workout or a warm shower, this is the ideal time to stretch. Not only will you reduce the risk of injury and pain that can be caused by stretching “cold” muscles, but you will also increase your blood circulation, lengthen your muscles more effectively, and reduce soreness.
- Don’t bounce. Static stretching is most effective for increasing flexibility because it holds your stretched muscle in an elongated position for longer (about fifteen to thirty seconds). Always be careful, however, not to overextend your muscles, as this can be quite painful. You should feel steady tension but not any significant distress.
- Stretch for you. It’s helpful to look up specific stretching exercises (especially for specific ailments), but if you come across a stretching exercise that is unnecessarily painful, discontinue it immediately. Proper stretching should improve your quality of life and relieve discomfort without becoming a painful and burdensome chore.
With these tips in mind, you should be ready to start incorporating brief, relaxing stretches into your weekly routine, minimizing pain and stiffness and maximizing your years. At MD Home Health, we try our best to help you feel young again, both in body and spirit.