As we age, we lose flexibility – especially if we’re not exercising. Staying in motion and flexible is key to a healthy, aging body. Stretching is an essential part of any fitness equation because it keeps your muscles ready to move. If you’re older than 30, you’ve been losing flexibility an average of 1% a year. Read on to learn why is stretching important.
Why is stretching important
Don’t let muscle stiffness and movement rigidity kill your mobility. Keep your muscle healthy, flexible, and strong with stretching. This is the reason doctors emphasize the importance of stretching.Regular stretching regulates the blood flow in different parts of the body and it provides immense benefit to the body. As we age our body starts losing its agility, to slow down the effect of aging on your muscles. Read more post: How to Meet Fitness Goals the Second Half of the Year.
Importance Of Stretching:
Stretching can help your body in many ways, but here we are mentioning some top health-related problems that can be managed by regular stretching.
Lack of Flexibility:
Being inflexible doesn’t just age you, it can lead to health issues including balance problems which can cause falls, poor posture, limited range of motion, and tight muscles that contribute to back pain or difficulty performing simple tasks. As we grow older, it’s critical to be concerned about balance and flexibility to avoid potentially dangerous falls. Many health professionals and fitness experts have explained the importance of stretching time and again.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that “stretching activities be done at least two days per week. If you have lost some joint motion or feel stiff, range of motion or stretching activities should be done daily.”
ACSM recommends that a stretch should produce a slight pull on the muscle but not to the point of pain. With a static stretch, hold that position for 15-30 seconds, and each stretch should be repeated 3-5 times on each side of the body.
Here are four stretches ACSM* recommends. As always, you should consult your doctor before starting any type of activity.
Hamstrings. Sit on the ground with legs straight in front of you. Gently lean forward from the hips (try to keep the back reasonably straight) until a stretch is felt on the back of the thighs.
Hip Flexors. Stand on one foot, and bring the other foot to the buttocks. Pull back gently, while keeping your knee pointed at the ground and your hip straight. If needed, hold onto a counter or chair to keep your balance.
Calves. Step forward with one leg. Shift your weight toward the front leg while keeping the back heel on the ground. If you press the hip of your back leg forward, this will also help stretch the hip flexors.
Chest Muscles. Standing in a corner, bring hands up to shoulder height and place against the wall on either side. Keeping hands in position, lean body forward until a stretch is felt in the front of the chest.
This can also be done using a doorway, turning away from the hand that is on the wall
*DIY: Improving Your Flexibility and Balance (Information from ACSM Fit Society, Winter 2012—Article written by Lynn Miller, PT, Ph.D., FACSM
Additional Senior Exercises:
Now you know why stretching is important, here are Some other exercises that you can incorporate along with stretching to stay fit as you age. Here are five activities to consider:
Owner, Kelly Fennelly Fitness
Kelly Fennelly has been a professional in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She design and implement Wellness Programs for clients. Along with her passion for Wellness & Fitness, she has a passion for supporting local non-profits and contributing to our community.
5 EASY STEPS TO AMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Learn 5 simple things you can do to boost your social media presence in your marketing strategy.