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By Mike Clark
Stretching is so important for everyone but especially for the elderly. Do you want to improve your golf swing, or maybe your dance moves, or even your pickle ball game, or just get ready for your day? Then stretching is a must for the active senior. Better flexibility will improve your moves and reduce the chance of injury.
Even if you spend a lot of time just sitting around watching television you need to stretch to work out the stiffness in your muscles, especially in the shoulders, back, and hips. As we continue to age we tend to be less active which makes stretching even more important to keep our joints loose and our muscles strong and active.
Ready to get started?
Stretches for Seniors
Overhead side stretch:
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart and raise your arms overhead with your fingers interlaced. Keep your torso long and gently lean to the left and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat on the other side.
Make it easier: Sit tall in a chair and keep your hips, knees and toes forward. If it is difficult to lift your arms overhead then rest your hands on your hips or keep them down by your sides and gently lean to one side for 10 to 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat to the other side.
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach your right arm across your body and place your left hand on your upper right arm then gently draw your right arm closer. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and release. Repeat with the other arm.
Make it easier: Sit tall in a chair instead of standing and keep your hips, knees and toes forward and complete the stretch above.
How to do it: While standing tall, place your right heel on a bench or step with your leg straight and toes up, without rounding your lower back gently hinge forward from your hips till you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Make it easier: Do this stretch while seated in a chair with your back straight and your right leg extended in front of your heel on the floor and lean forward until you feel a good stretch. Repeat with the other leg.
How to do it: Stand with your left leg in front of you and slightly bend, and your right leg straight behind you. You can perform this move near a chair or counter to hold on for support. Gently press your right heel into the floor until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Release and switch legs and repeat.
You can do these stretches every morning to get your body ready for your day. There are several apps and online resources for seniors to stretch. Check out seniorsneakers.com for videos and online classes.
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Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician.