There’s nothing like a good stretch if you’ve been sitting all day (which many of us do).
There’s nothing like a good stretch if you’ve been sitting all day (which many of us do). But did you know stretching can help you live longer? Stretching is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Adding it to your routine will help you retain flexibility, relieve aches and soreness, sleep better, and reduce the risk of injury. It can definitely improve the quality of life for seniors living in Peoria, AZ, or anywhere for that matter.
Not everyone has the same stretching requirements. What might feel great to one person may be difficult for another. So go at your own pace and listen to your body. Seniors should try and focus on stretches that affect mobility
, such as in calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps.
When starting your stretching routine, first take a light five-minute walk. Don’t bounce when stretching—you can overextend the muscle and hurt yourself.
Here are five stretches to help you get started.
1. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
The quadricep is the large muscle on the front of your thigh. Grab a chair or waist-height heavy furniture for support since you’re going to balance on one leg. Hold the chair with your left hand and bend your right knee. Using your right hand, grab your leg by the ankle and gently pull it toward your bottom. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with your left leg.
2. Side Lying Stretch
If you find it difficult to balance on one leg, here is an alternate quadricep stretch
. Lying on the floor or a bed on your side, bring your ankle to your bottom. You’ll feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. You can hold onto your foot or not, as your flexibility permits. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg by safely rolling over and doing the same on the other side.
3. Soleus Stretch
This is an excellent calf stretch, and all you need is a wall. Stand and face the wall. Place your hands about shoulder height on the wall, and then move your right foot in front of your left. Slowly bend your knees until you feel a stretch in your left lower leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly stand up and switch legs.
4. Hamstring Stretch
This targets your lower back and legs. Sit on a firm surface and extend your right leg. Bring your left foot to your right knee. Slowly lean toward your right leg, breathing out as you go. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, then release it. Switch legs and repeat.
5. Standing Hamstring Stretch
If it’s difficult getting down on the floor and back up, this is a great alternative. Place your right heel on a bench or curb with your leg straight and your toes up. Keep your back straight (no rounding!) and hinge forward at the hips until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds before you release. Switch legs.
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