By : Eric Daw
People often underestimate the importance of flexibility. It is needed to perform everyday activities with ease and benefits the body in numerous ways. This is especially the case for seniors. As human’s age it is common to face certain health conditions such as arthritis along with the usual tensions, aches and pains. If no action is taken to maintain and improve flexibility it can be lost. If flexibility is lost as we approach a more advanced age the body will be negatively impacted. Below are a few reasons why flexibility is important for seniors.
Maintains Muscle Elasticity and Strength
One major reason why flexibility is important for seniors is because it keeps muscles strong and elastic. When muscles are kept in a tightened state they can actually stay that way. If you do not stretch regularly, elasticity dissipates and movement becomes restricted. As a result of this loss of elasticity muscles are weakened. For these reason you have to take a few moments out of your day to stretch.
As mentioned above, a lack of flexibility can cause muscles to become tight and inelastic which weakens them. When this occurs you are more prone to injuries. All that tension creates friction, especially when the muscle is in use, which can result in an injury such as a tear or tendonitis.
Seniors who do what they can to stay flexible will keep aches and pains away. In order to perform daily activities such as tying your shoes and bending down to pick up your morning paper, good range of motion is required. Maintaining and/or increasing fluids in the joints by improving flexibility is going to make sure that you can perform these tasks pain free for years to come.
Since stretching is so important, let’s go over some useful tips on how to stretch effectively. First, try to stretch post workout. This time is best because the muscles are warm. Think of the muscles as taffy. It stretches better when warm, right? Next, take your time when stretching and don’t push your body too far. Since the muscles and joints are likely in a tightened state you need to take it slow and gradually release that tightness. Lastly, make sure to talk to your doctor before stretching if you have had any surgeries.
Overall, flexibility is so important for seniors. It will keep your muscles strong, avoid injuries, and reduce pain. The best part is, it is never too late to start! Use the tips above and start stretching regularly. You will feel so much better.
About the Author: Eric Daw is an active aging specialist and the owner of Omni Fitt. Omni Fitt is dedicated to the wellbeing, health and quality of life of people aged 65 and over. Eric motivates and empowers the older adult population to take responsibility for their independence, health and fitness through motivating and positive coaching experiences.