Do you frequently feel tight and stiff? Observed persistent pains and aches? There is probably a valid explanation. As we age, our muscles and joints lose fluid and flexibility. You may become less flexible and have a smaller range of motion as you age, coupled with ailments like arthritis, years of hunching over a computer and repetitive motions from gardening.
This stiffness can make it more difficult to perform daily activities like picking up a fork that has fallen to the floor or rotating your neck to look over your shoulder while driving, in addition to causing back pain and other aches and pains. This lack of flexibility also affects your capacity to perform strength and cardiovascular workouts.
Professionals advise stretching two to three times a week and even more frequently if you can, because it feels good, is simple to do and can help you stay flexible. How? Read on.
To Begin Stretching
Adding stretching after your walk or workout program, once muscles are already warmed up, is smart to do if you already engage in physical activity many times per week.
Feeling unfit? Stretching may be particularly beneficial in helping those who are sedentary avoid injuries.
You can look around your neighborhood gym or community center for a stretching session. However, the options available at these locations may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your degree of fitness. The National Institute on Aging’s YouTube channel features stretching exercises for seniors. Another choice is to inquire with your physician about an appointment with professional stretch therapists who can instruct you in a customized program. A fitness instructor might follow suit.
Consider yoga or tai chi if you want to mix stretching with other workouts. These are extremely helpful if someone has trouble doing anything on their own, enjoys group activities, or wants something holistic with a little bit of strength, balance, flexibility and perhaps some mental wellness.
Although each of us has distinct tight spots, most people could use more flexibility in their hamstrings, shoulders and neck. They can loosen up by performing the following stretches three times for 10 to 60 seconds on each side:
Hamstrings: Place your right leg straight out, with the heel on the floor, while perched on the edge of a chair. Lean forward while maintaining a straight back, then extend your right hand in the direction of your right foot. Stop and hold when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
Shoulders: Holding a small towel in your right hand, throw it over your right shoulder while still standing. Grab the bottom of the towel with your left hand by reaching behind your back. Until you get discomfort in your right shoulder and upper arm, pull down on the towel with your left hand.
Neck: Turn your head to one side and aim to stretch your chin toward your shoulder while seated with your spine straight, shoulders back and feet flat on the floor. When you feel a stretch, hold it.
Five minutes to relieve pain
It can only take five to ten minutes to thoroughly stretch your muscles (although more time is better).
Focus on one location at a time, like your shoulder and stretch it out until you feel some tightness but no discomfort. The common recommendation is to hold the stretch for a further 10 to 30 seconds. Some older persons may benefit from holding a position for up to 60 seconds. Repeat each stretch many times to maximize your session.
Also, take notice that you may perform several stretches while seated or standing if you have limited mobility or other physical problems and you can utilize a stable chair to help yourself get up and down as needed.
REACH’s 2 STEP APPROACH TO RECOVERY THERAPY
RELAX – RESTORE – RECHARGE
Step 1: Identify Your Problem Areas
- It all starts with your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment called .
- This helps us identify the root cause of your current problem areas due to:
– Life’s Daily Wear & Tear
– Your Aches/Pain
– Muscle Imbalances & Weakness
– Flexibility/Mobility Limitations
– Posture Issues
- A Mobility Risk Factor Assessment is a MUST before starting any Stretch & Recovery Therapy Program.
Step 2: Targeted Recovery Therapy
- Your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment helps us create a Personalized Recovery Therapy Plan that targets your problem areas which will Shorten your Recovery Time.
- Each of our Stretch & Recovery sessions are a balanced blend of Corrective Stretch, Percussion, Compression, CBD and Heat
- Risk Factor Re-Assessments:
– Suggested every 30-60 days
– See your improvements
– Realize the benefits of Stretch & Recovery