Healthy Aging: Maintaining Your Mobility
Maintain your mobility as you age with these stretches & exercises
Over the years, you can develop habitual ways of using your muscles to move and position yourself. Poor posture and a lack of flexibility may be the result of limited stretching and improper body alignment. With age, your muscles naturally tighten which can lead to poor posture1 and back pain. So, if you’re an older adult, it has never been more important to incorporate stretching and exercise into your daily routine in an effort to aid in good back health. You may already be doing stretches, but as you age it’s important to modify your stretch to minimize your chance of falling while performing them.
Here are three safe techniques older adults can utilize to keep limber:
Upper Body Stretch
Stand slightly further than arm’s length from a wall, facing towards it with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward placing the palms of your hands against the wall, facing upwards. Slowly walk your hands up the wall until they are above your head, focusing on keeping your back straight.
Repetition: Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Slowly walk your hands back down the wall. Repeat at least 3 to 5 more times2.
Lower Back Stretch
First, lie on your back with your legs together, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Try to keep both arms and shoulders flat on the floor throughout the stretch. Keeping knees bent and together, slowly lower both legs to one side as far as you comfortably can.
Repetition: Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds. Bring legs back up slowly and repeat toward other side. Continue alternating sides for at least 3 to 5 times on each side3.
Sit securely towards the edge of an armless chair with your legs stretched out in front of you. With your hands holding the sides of the seat of the chair for support, keep your heels on the floor while bending your ankles to point your toes to the sky.
Repetition: Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds then release. Repeat 3 to 5 times4.