No matter what age we are, stretching and having good flexibility is important, though this is especially true for seniors. Keeping up on stretches can help seniors do even the most simple tasks, such as reaching for a plate on the top shelf or crouching down to play with their grandkids.
While it might seem like a minimal form of exercise, stretching is actually very beneficial, and overtime, can even help to improve mobility and keep us limber as we age.
Keep reading to learn more!
Who should stretch?
In reality, the answer to that question is everyone. Everyone should stretch! For seniors, though, regular stretching is especially important. As we age, our flexibility decreases and our range of motion isn’t quite as good as it was before. This can be dangerous and lead to falls or pulled muscles.
Consistency is Key
Don’t wait until you’re sore or stiff to try to stretch and work out any kinks or knots. By working stretching into your daily routine, you will be able to be more limber and will produce a steady change in your body. Try it when you first wake up or before you lay down to rest for the evening. Stick to a consistent time to help you remember.
The Benefits of Stretching
If you’re one of the residents in memory care in Escondido, CA, you might be wondering what exactly the benefits of stretching are. There are both mental and physical positives you need to check out:
- Regular stretching can help to reduce arthritis pain in your lower back and joints.
- Stretching helps to increase blood flow in your muscles and give you energy.
- Routine stretching can improve flexibility and mobility, which in turn decreases your chances of falling.
- Another plus side is that stretching helps to improve posture, which prevents injury and pain over time.
As you continue to do these stretches in a consistent fashion, it will help to loosen up tight muscles, expand on your range of motion, and make every day activities easier to perform.
Group Fitness Courses
Even when staying in memory care in Escondido, CA, it is possible to take part in group fitness classes. Activities such as Tai chi, chair yoga, and Zumba helps keep seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease moving and active. If you’re not sure what is being offered, check in with a staff member or go to the community event calendar and see what’s available.
Here at Vista del Lago, we are proud to provide to our residents a walking club, chair Zumba, and even bowling. If a group activity course isn’t for you, that’s okay! Just make sure to talk to your nurse or another staff member to see if they can help walk you through some exercises or stretches.
6 Great Daily Stretches for Seniors
When looking to get started, we have some great suggestions! These following stretches are all fairly simple to complete. For safety measures, make sure to check in with your doctor, nurse, or another staff member before trying.
Using the fingertips on your left hand, touch the back of your left shoulder or upper back. Then, using your right hand, add a bit of gentle pressure on the left elbow to deepen the stretch. Repeat this motion to your right side.
Neck Side Stretch:
This exercise can be done either in a seated or standing position. To begin, tilt your head to the left, closing the gap between your ear and shoulder until you begin to feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold for 20-30, then repeat on the other side.
This stretch is best done while sitting down. In the seated position, move your toes in a clockwise, circular motion several times. Stop and then change direction, this time going counterclockwise.
While in a standing position, clasp your hands together behind your back, making sure your hands are folded and placed near your tailbone. Hold this for 20-30 seconds before releasing.
Overhead Side Stretch:
This is another great exercise to do while sitting down. Once you are seated, raise both of your hands over your head, almost like you are doing the wave at a sporting event. Then, gently lean to one side. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds before switching and repeating it on the other side.
Once you are in a seated position, hug yourself and gently turn your body to one side. Hold for the standard 15-20 seconds and then repeat to the other side.
To make the most out of your efforts, try to work through this list at least three or four times each time that you stretch.
Before beginning these stretches, it’s best to do a little warm up if you can. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, even a simple walk down the hallway and back will do. If you need help getting around, be sure to ask a staff member or take your cane or walker with you.
As always, it is best practice to consult with your doctor or a primary care physician before introducing any type of new workout or fitness routine. This is especially true if you have any sort of underlying health conditions or have recently undergone a surgery of any kind. The biggest part is just knowing your limitations and taking things a little at a time.
Memory Care in Escondido, CA
If you are or have a senior loved one who is struggling with memory care issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, reach out to us here at Vista del Lago to begin having that conversation.
We want all seniors to be safe and experience their highest quality of living, which is why we offer up the best activities and accommodations to keep them healthy and moving. So whether that includes stretching every day, socializing with others, or enjoying one of the nutritious meals we serve, we assure you that your loved one is in the best hands.