Stretching improves flexibility, and flexibility is key as seniors age. The more flexible they have, the better they can get around. This ability to move around freely is key, as maintaining an active lifestyle is one of the most important things seniors can do for themselves. Adding elder care professionals to the home will benefit seniors by providing a consistent person to assist in their daily activity goals.
Reduce Back and Arthritis Pain
Unfortunately, both back pain and arthritis are common as seniors age. With regular stretching, however, seniors can improve their flexibility and range of motion, allowing for increased mobility.
For many seniors, there may be pain associated with stretching due to stiffness and limited use. It is suggested to warm the muscles with a heating pad before stretching to alleviate pain. An elder care team member can assist seniors with stretching and ensure they use the proper form to eliminate the risk of injury. Additionally, resistance bands or stretching equipment may also make stretching easier.
Stretching Increases Flexibility, Which Decreases the Risk of Falls
For seniors, the risk of falling is real. Every year falls contribute to a large number of injuries and even death for more than 2.5 million people. That’s one out of every three seniors. To eliminate the risk of falls, seniors should work on stretching that focuses on the lower part of the body. Stretching the hips and hamstrings, for instance, increase flexibility and mobility.
Stretching Can Improve Blood Flow
Certain types of stretching can increase seniors’ blood flow and improve their energy reserves. This type of stretching is called dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is a low-intensity stretching technique that uses movement to stretch the muscles.
Unlike static stretching, which is stretching while the body is immobile, dynamic stretches lengthen muscles while increasing circulation and nutrient flow throughout the body. As a result, the body’s energy levels rise. Increased energy is essential in seniors for maintaining independence, remaining social, and overall healthy aging.
Examples of dynamic stretching include the following:
- Arm swings
- Walking lunges
- Half squats
- Shoulder circles
- Chin drops
What Benefits Do Seniors Receive With Increased Flexibility?
Increased flexibility improves seniors’ ability to remain mobile and active. This is essential to overall health and well-being. Additionally, other benefits include the continued ability to perform daily tasks, decreased chronic pain, improved balance – resulting in fewer falls, and improved posture.
When stretching, seniors need to remember to keep their joints loose, start slowly, maintain steady and even breathing, and wear loose clothing. It’s important to be consistent when stretching by using the right form. Seniors should also remember to tend to any pain during and after stretching.
Stretching videos can be found online. Elder care workers can do stretches with seniors, which helps encourage continued movement. In addition to stretching for better health, home care professionals can also assist with healthy meal planning and activity goals. Seniors should strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic daily activity.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Edina, MN please contact the caring staff at Great Oak Senior Care, Inc. today. (952) 767-4925
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