How basic stretches can benefit seniors
Stretching is something that's relatively simple to fit into your daily routine while living in a retirement community, but it could have far-reaching benefits for your health. Experts are keen to promote the advantages of stretching, not only for the body but also for the mind.
Here are just some of the reasons why you might want to adapt your routine slightly to include a few basic stretches. The best part is that you can do them in the comfort of your own home!
Improving flexibility and posture
It might sound obvious, but stretching is an effective way of making yourself more flexible. It improves elasticity in the muscles, which can make it easier to manoeuvre in day to day life.
The most important thing is that you start slowly.
The University of California, Davis also emphasises the benefits it can bring to your posture. Stretching not only strengthens muscles, but also makes sure they are properly aligned, meaning you're less likely to slouch.
You might also find that stretching helps to minimise the likelihood of injury. Increasing blood flow to your muscles can make them perform better when you need them most, while ensuring a full range of motion.
In other words, you're less likely to strain yourself reaching for something on a high shelf or in a low cupboard if you regularly stretch. Your exercise routine doesn't have to be rigorous, just enough to give your muscles the special attention they need.
Stretching advice for seniors
If you're convinced that stretching will deliver benefits, then it's time to come up with a range of exercises to suit you. The most important thing is that you start slowly – don't try and overdo it, as this could ultimately cause you more harm than good.
Relaxed breathing is also key. This will ensure there's enough oxygen flowing to your muscles, while also keeping you relaxed. Drink plenty of fluids throughout to make sure you're fully hydrated.
Fitness Magazine recommends holding each stretch for around 30 seconds for maximum benefit. Anything less than 20 seconds won't have much impact at all, so it's well worth sticking at it for the full half a minute!
Of course, you can always enjoy your stretching sessions more by getting other residents of your Hunter retirement village involved. Group exercise can be fun, plus it gives you more of an incentive to continue.