Experts say as we age, our quality of life tends to become limited, but not by choice. It has to do with it the natural progression our body goes through, but one little lifestyle change can ward off old age: stretching. In fact, it’s been noted that those who undergo daily stretching sessions, have a lower incidence of traumas.
Many seniors are turning to a StretchCoach to maintain muscle flexibility. Research shows that stretching has positive effects on the whole musculo-skeletal system. You have better articular lubrication, which can counteract cartilage wear and tear, therefore preventing arthrosis. The elongation exercises increase flexibility and elasticity of muscles and tendons, improves coordination and, by promoting more relaxation, you reduce stress and tension. Stretching also halts the shortening of tissues (retraction), an issue linked to aging that leads to incorrect postures.
How Stretching Dramatically Impacts Our Lives
While stretching is mostly known for targeting and improving muscles and tendons, it has several other purposes:
- Reduces post exercise pain
- Improve cardiac and respiratory capacity
- Improves balance and coordination
Normal aging generally produces a reduction in flexibility and less joint mobility. It may become more challenging to walk farther without feeling any discomfort, or even standing or sitting for long periods of time may become burdensome. However, regular stretching allows the muscles, joints and tissues to reach maximum elongation, and the muscle-tendon elasticity tends to decrease.
Which Stretches Are Better for Seniors?
There are various types of stretching, but one cannot say that one is better than others. It depends on the preferences and goals of the individual. But the most popular one is static stretching. It is performed alone and is based on specific positions in which the different muscles are stretched for a time of up to about 30 seconds. You typically stretch the muscle to its farthest point and then maintaining that position. There is also static passive stretching that follows the principles of the previous with the difference that the different maneuvers are performed with the support of a partner.
Another, that is more widespread among athletes is the dynamic stretch which uses movement. It consists of controlled oscillations of the legs and arms, in a controlled way and is usually based on a specific routine that has been developed by a coach. Dynamic stretching improves flexibility and is quite useful as part of warming up for an aerobic or active workout. But experts warn, this type of stretching should be stopped when you feel tired because tired muscles have less elasticity, which decreases the range of movement of your movements.
Can Also Combat Arthritis Pain Naturally
About 46 million Americans suffer from arthritis, but researchers have concluded that regular stretching can combat arthritis pain by up to 85 percent. Arthritis is a joint inflammation that manifests with pain, heat, swelling and immobilization of the affected joint. Often, however, arthritis occurs simultaneously on multiple joints (hip, knee, elbow), and is almost always caused by a rheumatic disease or a dysfunction of your immune system. Researchers say in addition to stretching ligaments, it also improves blood circulation, which results in less pain and swelling. Aging is a natural process that everyone will have to deal with, however, there are plenty of strategies to slow down aging and stretching is at the top of the list.