As we age should we keep doing flexibility exercises? If we haven’t done any for years, is it too late to start doing a range of flexibility exercises?
Now is the perfect time to start becoming more active. It is true what they say; you will lose it if you don’t use it. So let’s start doing some flexibility exercises.
Age Does Affect Us
Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that as we get older our bones and muscles become gradually weaker. This starts to affect our range of movements and ease of moving. Things we took for granted, about 5 years ago, such as walking, standing for any length of time, and going up and down stairs are gradually starting to become more difficult. Embarrassingly so! Let’s not allow these changes to limit our activities.
What do we mean when we say flexibility exercises? Well flexibility exercise mainly involves stretching. This type of exercise is recommended for everyone but in particular older adults, especially those over 50 because it helps to:
- Maintain or improve athletic performance
- Maintain or improve range of movements
- Reduce risk of injuries
- Improve posture
- Improve blood circulation
Some studies also suggest that flexibility exercises can help to reduce pain and improve overall well-being.
Flexibility Exercises for Adults Over 50
Flexibility exercises are fairly simple to learn and do, and you can do them at home. Have a search on the internet and you will find many videos. If you have Amazon Prime, there are many yoga and stretching videos that you can watch for free. Here are some examples of some simple stretches that you can do anywhere, even when waiting for the kettle to boil:
This flexibility stretch helps maintain and improve the mobility of your neck and it exercises your shoulders and upper back muscles. This is good if you spend a lot of time at a desk or working on a computer.
This exercise is particularly helpful in stretching muscles you use for reaching up and for dressing and undressing.
Side Shoulder Raise
This helps to improve the strength and mobility of your arms and shoulders which is particularly helpful when pushing or pulling.
This makes your shoulders and your chest muscles more flexible which are particularly useful when you have to reach behind for something.
This helps to strengthen your shoulders and chest muscles, improves posture and lung function.
This exercise strengthens the ankles which are important for balance and stability.
You use your lower body in almost all your daily functions. You need to exercise your hips and legs to maintain the flexibility and mobility of your lower body.
When doing these exercises, here a few reminders to avoid unnecessary risks:
- These flexible exercises should not cause pain.
- Avoid intense stretching or bouncing movements.
- If you have injuries or have recently undergone surgery, consult with your doctor first to find out if stretching is advisable for you.
The older you get, the more you need to stretch your limbs to maintain their flexibility and range of motion. Start doing some flexibility exercises and get moving.