Older people are at greater risk of diseases related to joint and muscle wear. Stretching for the elderly is a great way to prevent these health problems.
Stretching is certainly very useful at any age. If this practice is included in the daily routine of an elder, the subject will have, without a shadow of a doubt, better functionality of his body.
When the body performs a very reduced physical activity, the joints tend to stiffen, increase muscle weakness and reduce blood flow. In this sense, from being a simple sequence of exercises, stretching becomes a necessary need of the body to feel good and be able to perform its motor functions.
Before starting with stretching for the elderly
It is important that older people take certain precautions before starting to stretch, to avoid injury or possible injury. Pay close attention to the following recommendations:
- Do not strain your body too much: if for some reason you are unable to perform the exercise in its entirety, do not try hard. Get as far as you can, with practice you will improve. When you stretch, you don’t have to feel pain, maybe a little tension, but never pain.
- Relax the muscles: during the stretching exercises, it is important that the muscles are relaxed and not tense. In this way, they can stretch and oxygenate without problems.
- Perform the exercises correctly: try to have a technique that allows you to perform the exercises in the most correct way possible.
The complete cycle of stretching for the elderly
Performing a full stretch as soon as you get up can provide your body with a lot of energy and relax muscle tension throughout the rest of the day. Done before going to sleep can help eliminate stress and have better sleep.
You can do it at the beginning, at the end or even in the middle of your day. You are free to decide the right time for you. The important thing is to take care of your body through this type of exercises that concern:
- Stand with your arms extended on the sides of your body. Keep your shoulders relaxed and aligned. Now, turn your head to the right and hold the position for fifteen seconds. Look forward again and repeat the movement to the left side.
- After this exercise, rest for five seconds and bring your head back without applying force. Hold this position for fifteen seconds, look forward and repeat the movement by tilting the head down for another fifteen seconds.
- Stand upright and, with a slow and accurate movement, turn the right shoulder backward. Repeat this ten times. Now, with the same shrewdness, perform the rotation moving forward for another ten times. Repeat the entire procedure with the other shoulder and then with both simultaneously.
- Now stretch one arm forward and, in a circular motion, bring it up and then back. You can do five to ten repetitions per arm (or with both arms).
The hips and the pelvis
- To start, stand with your legs slightly apart and your hands on your hips. Make circular movements clockwise for thirty seconds. Now, for another thirty seconds, perform the same movements counterclockwise.
- For this exercise, you will need a medicine ball or a normal ball. Hold the ball at chest level with both hands. Now turn your torso to the right while keeping your eyes and the ball in the direction you are facing. Return to the starting position and perform the same movement on the other side. Do twenty repetitions.
- Standing with your back straight and looking forward, bring one knee to your chest and support it with both hands. Apply light pressure for fifteen seconds, lower the leg and do the same exercise with the other.
- When you are finished, bring your foot back by bending your knee and let your buttocks touch your heel with your hand. Hold for twenty seconds and change the leg.
- Stand with your hands on your hips and look forward. Stretch your right leg forward and make circular movements with your foot for ten seconds. After that, pretend to draw the number “6” in the air with your foot for another ten seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
To conclude: stretching helps to relax the body, lubricate the joints, increase the possibility of movement and produce endorphins. Remember to wear comfortable clothes during the exercises and to maintain good hydration to avoid injuries or muscle cramps. Try to include stretching in your daily routine and you will see that the results will be guaranteed!