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Daily Stretches for Seniors

 
Studies have shown that just a few daily stretches can have enormous benefit on our physical health. Particularly as we grow older, for many of us, the priority of our agenda is to stay limber, active and physically healthy. The more sedentary we are as we age, the more restricted our physical ability. 

The Benefits 

According to a number of research studies, daily stretch exercises for seniors can: 
Improve flexibility – this comes in handy during daily activities such as grocery shopping, dressing yourself, showering and cooking.
Reduce muscle tension – when your muscles are tense, stress is high. Relaxed muscles create the basis for a stress-free environment for your body.
Enhance body circulation – when your body is circulating properly, you avoid the possibility of muscle and joint inflammations.
Increase range of motion – when your joints have better movement, you are in a better position to fight off the pains of arthritis.

Just 15 to 20 Minutes a Day 

stretch-seniorsThat’s all it takes. Invest in your future and make time for your personal health. Before you begin, try to walk for 5 to 10 minutes for a nice warm up. Here are a few simple stretches you can do at home to get started: 
Chest. Either sitting or standing, maintain good posture and stretch your arms out horizontally to the side. Now bend your arms at 90 degrees with your forearms open and palms facing forwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and feel a nice stretch through your upper chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
Hamstrings. Sitting on a chair, make sure your right leg is bent with your foot on the ground. Gently extend your left leg forward and out, toes to the ceiling. Lean your upper body forwards, reaching towards your left foot. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Now do the same with the other leg.
Hip Flexor. Sit sideways on a chair. Gently extend your outside leg backwards with bent knees on both legs. Sit tall to maintain posture and push your outside hip forward until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Spin yourself around and do the same on the other side.
Calf Muscle. Facing a wall and standing tall, place both hands in front of you on the wall. Gently move into a lunge position with your front knee bent (make sure your knee is directly over your heel and not too far forward) and your back leg extended. Push your back leg heel towards the ground until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this on the other leg.
Neck. Standing or sitting with good posture maintained, tilt your head to the side – ear to shoulder. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds. Now slightly change the angle of your head and turn your chin down towards your armpit. Hold this again for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this on the other side.

Proper Stretching Tips 

It is critical that you hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds – no less. And most importantly…remember to breathe! Maintain good posture always, and while you do your stretches be sure that you feel no pain, nor do you experience any shaking. Take each exercise to the point where you feel a light stretch, with mild tension. You should feel it, but it should not be uncomfortable. 
Stretch your way to a healthier lifestyle.

 

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