Moving around after being in one position for too long begins to get tricky as we age. Part of the reason is the loss of fluid and flexibility in our joints and muscles later in life. Other factors, like repetitive movements and positions for long periods of time, arthritis, diet and exercise also play a part. Some people may experience pain along with the decrease in their range of motion which can make daily tasks difficult. Becoming more flexible as you get older is not only possible, it is also very important in preventing injury and pain.
Stretching regularly is important to incorporate into your daily routine. According to Mayo Clinic, increasing flexibility may:
- Decrease risk of injury
- Increase endurance for physical activities
- Increase blood flow to the muscles
- Increase range of motion
- Help with daily tasks and activities
A class from your local YMCA or town recreation center is a good way to learn the basics and be sure you’re completing the stretches correctly. Or, if you prefer to stay home and try it out there first, there are great free resources on YouTube for safe and effective stretching for aging adults.
As you get in a routine, you may even decide to join an exercise class that incorporates stretching, such as tai chi, yoga or pilates when you feel the benefits and get more comfortable. Just stay consistent and remember to be patient with yourself and give your body time to adapt. Once you get started, you’ll likely begin to notice small results quickly.
*This site does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.