Regardless of our age, it is important for us to maintain flexibility to support our overall fitness and health. This is not about being able to do the splits or bend one of your legs the other way. The type of flexibility that truly matters in health as we age is to have unrestricted movements. Being able to stretch your joints smoothly and going about with your daily senior activities without the aches and strains. Here is how you can remain flexible in spite of your advancing age to prevent stiff joints.
The first step to improve your flexibility is to get moving and stay active. Even if it means taking a stroll around the retirement community just 10 minutes a day can mean so much in helping you maintain good flexibility. A study was conducted and has shown that older adults between 60 and 70 years old experienced an improvement in their flexibility by walking and jogging consistently for over a period of 14 weeks. So, start spending more time outdoors on your feet and do the activities that you have always loved like swimming, cycling, and others.
Yoga is increasingly popular amongst the elderly population which is definitely a positive change. Yoga is a gentle kind of exercise which is effective for improving strength, flexibility, and mental well-being. Yoga does not just target certain body parts, but it makes use of the body as a whole to focus on other aspects as well which include spiritual, emotional, and mental.
Pilates is another form of exercise that can truly help improve our flexibility. It is also a gentle exercise that has been proven to be quite useful for older adults who are looking to stay more active. Pilates involves low-impact poses and gentle movements as well as light stretches which all contribute towards better flexibility.
Going swimming or just walking around and stretching in the pool is helpful in improving flexibility. It may not be as effective as Yoga or Pilates but it does help lengthen our muscles. In addition, swimming enables us to put lesser weight onto our joints due to the buoyancy our body experiences in the water. This is ideal for older adults who have joint problems. Swimming in a heated pool also provides even greater benefits as the heat can relieve pain and support body movement.
Dancing is fun and can keep us moving to improve flexibility and increase our strength. We can also get much fitter and improve other aspects of our health. So get moving again and put your dancing shoes back on to put your sleek moves to good use. If you feel more comfortable dancing on your own, you can always put on some tunes and dance in the comfort of your own room.
Do Tai Chi
Tai Chi is another gentle exercise that is slow and relaxing. It originated in China many years ago and has today been practiced by people from all over the world for its great benefits. It can improve your strength, coordination, and flexibility while reducing pain around your body.