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While aging can take a toll on an individual’s mental and physical health, engaging in different activities can make a huge difference. May is a 65-year-old woman who enjoys cooking and playing cards with her friends during the evening. She also engages in stretching exercises for seniors, which she says is one of the biggest secrets behind her youthful glow and sound mental health.

Research claims that old age can cause people to isolate themselves, resulting in mental health issues like depression and anxiety. However, one should always age gracefully and make the most of their life, just like May.

So, don’t let your age stand in your way, as this is your sign of embracing a healthy and happy lifestyle. 

Why Should Older People Incorporate Stretching Exercises for Seniors in Their Routine?

As people eventually inch towards their old age, they dissociate themselves from the rest of the world, thus feeling groggy and muzzy. Loneliness is what every human is dreadful of, and old age does that to us. 

The only key to a long and healthy life is happiness, and to be happy, one should keep their mental health in check. Here’s a list of reasons concerning the benefits of having an active lifestyle.

1. An active lifestyle keeps older people away from depression

Studies suggest that when older people participate in meaningful activities, they feel happier and healthier. Physical activities improve their cognitive abilities and improve their overall mental health. Additionally, it is also believed that an active lifestyle reduces the chances of older people having to depend on others or suffer from other health conditions, including dementia. 

2. Improves their chances of having a longer life

Playing games, traveling, or practicing home exercises for seniors can increase an individual’s lifespan. Reports confirm this; however, researchers are still trying to establish a connection between them.

3. Helps them to improve their ability to think reasonably

An active lifestyle also increases the possibility of improving problem-solving ability besides triggering the creative side of the mind. Studies are also trying to develop other ideas that can significantly contribute to this attribute in older people. 

Also read: Balance Exercises for Seniors

5 Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Older adults should make it a habit of moving around more throughout their day. Any amount of physical activity ranging from moderate-to-vigorous elderly exercising should be practiced to reap some long-lasting health benefits. As one grows older, their flexibility is challenged. But, engaging in physical activities can help resolve that and delay the onset of more serious health issues.

Here are a few of the best stretching exercises that should be incorporated into the workout routines of older adults.

1. Overhead Side Stretch

Overhead Side Stretch
Overhead Side Stretch

This stretching exercise is a great way to get rid of any fat in the abdomen, ribs, or shoulders. 

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet apart as you raise your arms towards the ceiling. Slowly incline towards the left as you keep your torso long. 
  • Hold the position for a couple of seconds before returning to your original position. 
  • Repeat the same with the other side as well.
  • You can also perform this exercise sitting on a chair.

2. Standing Quadriceps Stretch

Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Standing Quadriceps Stretch

The second on our list, standing quadriceps stretch is great for improving the mobility and flexibility of an individual. 

To perform this exercise:

  • This older adult exercise will require you to perform some light stretching exercises beforehand. 
  • Once you are ready, get a chair or anything that will help you balance better. 
  • As you hold on to your support with your left hand, slowly bend your right knee, grab your leg using your right hand by your ankle, and gently pull your foot towards your bottom.
  •  Hold this position for some time before repeating it with the other leg.

Also read: Weight Training for Old Men

3. Seated Knee to Chest

Seated Knee to Chest
Seated Knee to Chest

This is one of those mandatory exercises for seniors that does more than just impact your legs. With this exercise, you can improve the mobility in your hips and make your joints more mobile. Additionally, it also helps to strengthen your lower back. You have to use a chair for performing this exercise which is like a bonus.

To perform this exercise:

  • Sit on your chair comfortably. 
  • When you are ready, bring your right knee towards the left side of your chest. 
  • You are supposed to feel a slight stretching sensation. 
  • Hold the position for 10-20 seconds and repeat the same with the other side. 

4. Soleus Stretch

Soleus Stretch
Soleus Stretch

This is a very simple exercise that targets the muscles in your legs. The flexibility of your lower body is improved by performing this exercise.

To perform this exercise:

  • All you need to do is stand facing a wall. 
  • Place your hands on the wall for support. 
  • Begin to bend your knees when you feel comfortable. 
  • Continue bending till you feel a stretch in your legs. 
  • Swap your legs after holding the position for some time. 

Also read: How to Stay Fit & Healthy As A Senior

5. Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch
Shoulder Stretch

The next stretch focuses on the shoulders and upper body, and this exercise will help you loosen the joints around your shoulders. 

For performing this exercise:

  • Stand or sit according to your convenience. 
  • Hold one of your arms with your opposite hands and hold it against your chest till you feel a stretch. 
  • You need to place your elbows below your shoulder.
  • Hold the position for a while and repeat it with the other arm. 

Conclusion

Mainstream workouts are not exactly ideal for older adults. However, besides engaging in other forms of social activities like gardening and cooking, these stretching exercises can add health benefits for a long time.

Times are changing. Seniors should no longer feel restricted within the four walls of their houses and take steps to adopt a fairly healthy lifestyle. A proper exercise routine combined with participation in other recreational activities can boost both an individual's physical and mental health. With stretching exercises for seniors, you can keep your mobility in check and hope for a better lifestyle. 

So, what is stopping you? It’s time you slay your 70s too.