5 Simple Stretching Exercises to Improve Senior Mobility
When it comes to mobility, most people tend to lose flexibility and strength, which can cause us to become fearful or experience stress at a lack of an ability to move as we once did.
Even daily activities, such as getting in and out of a car, or standing up from sitting on a sofa or chair become increasingly difficult.
By stretching the back, hips, legs, neck, and arms, seniors can keep a great deal of their flexibility, which can allow everyday tasks and activities to once again be a simple thing, and not a major chore.
Let’s look at some of the easy stretching exercises that will lengthen the muscles and connective tissue, such as tendons, and allow seniors to remain flexible, regardless of their years.
Easy, Everyday Stretching Exercises to Improve Senior Mobility
These exercises should be performed at least twice a week for maximum benefit to show.
- Neck Stretches
Keeping the neck flexible can help make simple things, such as driving, more comfortable. You can easily stretch the neck by simply bringing your chin to your chest and holding it for a count of 5. Then move your head slowly from side to side.
- Hamstring Stretch
The back of the thigh, also known as the hamstring, can cause low back and hip pain. If you can still bend over without losing your balance, you can easily stretch the hamstring by bending at the waist, keeping your knees slightly bent and gently allow the back of the leg to stretch.
Another way is to lie on the bed or sofa and pull one leg up, using your hands under the thigh to stretch the leg. Do not let the hip or the knee on the other leg rise off the bed. Don’t pull on your knee, only underneath the thigh. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
- Quad Stretch
Your quadriceps, or quads, are the large muscle on the front of the thigh. This is important for walking and standing. You can easily stretch the quad by standing in front of the bed and using the opposite hand on the bed for balance. Bend one leg and pull gently on the ankle. You can use a towel to pull the leg up if you cannot reach your ankle. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
- Lower Back Stretch
There is nothing more annoying than low back pain. To stretch the lower back, lie on your bed or the sofa with your knees bent. Put your feet together and keep them flat on the bed. Keeping your knees together, simply lower your legs to one side then the other. Try not to let your back or shoulders move. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. If this hurts too much, stop.
- Ankle Stretch
Poor balance is often due to stiff ankles. You can keep the ankle more flexible by sitting in a comfortable chair. Using your ankle, move the foot up and down as far as it will go. Then you can move it side to side. Or you can sit in a chair and extend your foot in front of you. Using your big toe, spell out the alphabet on the floor. Repeat with the other foot.
Be sure to stretch your ankle gently, and if you feel pain, you should stop and consult with your doctor before continuing.