In primary school physical education classes, butterfly stretches and calf raises have long been standard exercises. But any trainer will tell you that stretching isn’t just for kids; it’s a crucial component of overall fitness.
Regular stretching is essential for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, it lowers your chance of injury because being too tight makes injuries more likely. Stretching increases range of motion, which enhances the effectiveness of your workout since the more your muscles can move, the more effectively they can exercise.00:12 / 00:35
Stretching is still necessary after the age of 60 since it helps slow down some of the natural physical deterioration that comes with aging. But simply stretching won’t go you very far. Stretching is only 50 percent as effective as it could be without strength. You might not get long-lasting effects if you don’t engage in additional physical activities that increase your muscle strength and support whatever you stretch.
But for those over 60, stretching every day can have some really positive effects. Curious? Here are some reasons why you should start stretching and pull out the foam roller.
Mobility is supported by stretching
Your body will naturally lose range of motion as you get older. You lose muscle mass over time naturally and as you age, your muscles and joints may get stiffer, making movement more difficult. Fortunately, stretching can support and enhance mobility along with exercise. Why? According to Harvard Health, stretching muscles increases their length, which improves their flexibility and ability to contract. This facilitates more fluid movement. Your daily life will be easier if you stretch and force your body to move in a way that it might not necessarily want to anymore.
Balance can be improved
Balance is frequently regarded as a sign of lifespan in people. Balance problems may indicate declining cognitive health and can result in falls, which hurt millions of older citizens in the United States every year. Regular stretching might benefit balance training. It will help you perform better if you can work on shifting your posture, defying gravity and challenging your stability against gravity.
Circulation can be improved by stretching
Stretching can aid in circulation improvement, which is important for older individuals who may be more sedentary. In fact, a tiny study published in The Journal of Physiology in 2020 found that persons with greater blood flow and less stiffness than those who did not stretch their legs five times per week for 12 weeks were those who did so. Additionally, their blood pressure was lower than it was at the beginning of the trial. According to Harvard Health, scientists think that lower-body stretching may put pressure on the arteries in the legs, causing them to enlarge to make room for more blood flow.
Pointers for beginner stretchers
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), stretching is best done daily but should be done at least twice to three times a week. And before and after every workout, you should stretch.
You shouldn’t stretch “cold,” that is, without first engaging in some sort of exercise. When your body is cold, it will simply pull on whatever is the most flexible, and unless your muscles have warmed up, the tendon that joins your muscle to your bone is the item that is more flexible. Pulling on a cold muscle just stretches the tendon, which can be painful or even cause injury. This does not imply that you must complete a full workout prior to stretching. However, doing some arm swings or other activity for a few minutes first before you start genuinely stretching, for instance, if you have a shoulder ache and want to loosen it up.
Make sure to listen to your body and stop doing a stretch if pain is involved. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it.
REACH’s 2 STEP APPROACH TO RECOVERY THERAPY
1. IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSES OF YOUR ACHES AND PAINS
At Reach, we start your Stretch and Recovery journey with your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment. This assessment allows us to pinpoint the causes of your aches and pains, muscle imbalances and weakness, and posture or mobility limitations. After your assessment, we can proceed to step 2!
2. CUSTOMIZE YOUR RECOVERY THERAPY PROGRAM
Based on your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment, a custom Stretch & Recovery therapy plan will be created. The program is designed just for you and will target your areas of concern and interest. Each session includes a balanced blend of Corrective Stretch, Percussion, Compression, CBD, and Heat Vibration Therapy. This takes the guesswork out of choosing the Stretch and Recovery therapies that will be best for you!