Our joints lose flexibility as we age. Our muscles become less elastic, and our bones become, well, less friendly.
As a result of these changes associated with aging, we may decide simply to let Father Time have his way. We may decide there’s nothing to do but settle for the reduced range of motion that normally comes with the aging of our joints, muscles, and bones.
We often associate stretching with limbering up or cooling down before or after doing various exercises. Without a doubt, this kind of stretching is vital, but did you know stretching on its own can be considered an important component of any senior fitness program?
The best way to retain–even increase–range of motion and improve your ability to move all joints normally isn’t simply to hope Father Time is kind to you. The best way is to investigate senior workouts incorporating plenty of flexibility training.
Static stretching is advised for most seniors. Static stretching involves holding a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. This creates lasting lengthening of a muscle and its surrounding tissue, leading to increased range of motion.
Dynamic, or bouncier, stretching is riskier and can lead to joint and muscle complications.
Static stretching can do wonders to reduce upper body stiffness and back pain. It can also improve your posture and reduce the effects of arthritis.
Although stretching on its own can make you feel better, chances are you’ll want to combine your stretching regimen with your senior cardio workout, or with your senior endurance or strength training program. The best overall benefits seem to come when you do your stretching after your other regular workouts.
There are plenty of fun and effective stretches to learn, focusing on increasing both your upper-and lower-body flexibility and range of motion.
You can start with just two or three upper-body stretches and two or three lower-body stretches. As you master these and see an increase in your flexibility, you can start adding new stretches.
Remember, you shouldn’t bounce, and you shouldn’t stretch too quickly. If necessary, start by holding stretches for only 10 seconds. When you’re up to it, try holding for 20-30 seconds. You should stretch at least twice a week, and more often if you want to get the most benefit from it. Repeat each stretch 3 to 5 times and, while you’re at it, put Father Time in his place by aiming for some improvement from week to week.
Are you putting Father Time in his place? Leave a comment letting us know how you’re maintaining flexibility and staying fit!
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Senior Fitness – Stretching © 2012 MedicareMall.com