As it turns out, keeping limber limbs doesn’t just make gymnasts impressive and yogis euphoric. Although this aspect of physical activity is all too often overlooked in regards to senior health, flexibility brings important benefits at every age. Today, Annapolis Home Care Assistance is going to share some of the hidden benefits of staying limber with age.
The Fundamentals of Flexibility
Flexibility is essential for daily activities. Tying shoes, sweeping floors and hugging a friend are just a few of the daily activities that make life richer, but require moving joints to fulfill. Whether caused by pain or stiffness, even small reductions in a joint’s range of motion can make a big impact on the quality of life. Keeping a bit of stretching in the daily routine helps ensure the full spectrum of activities can be performed effortlessly.
The Therapeutic Power of Stretching
Not only does flexibility ensure that little tasks are no more difficult than necessary, limber joints also help to ease and ward off chronic pain. Gentle daily motion of all articulations ensures the proper blood flow to aid repair and prevent the accumulation of wastes in otherwise achy joints. Along with helping seniors with arthritis pain, the proper targeted stretches can also be beneficial for seniors living at home with Parkinson’s.
The effects of flexibility are more than just physical: stretching is a form of active relaxation that benefits body and mind. While some types of exercise such as qigong and yoga actively promote the development of a peaceful mind, any stretching routine will benefit from and help induce a calm state of mind. This stress-management technique has been shown to be a powerful health-enhancing tool.
An Ounce of Prevention
Flexibility also helps prevent injury during physical activities. A smooth, full range of motion during exercise is less likely to lead to injury making these health-promoting pastimes easier to keep up in the long run. Seniors should dedicate time each day to working the joints through their full range of motion. There will be some discomfort at the extremes of the range, but the joints should not be pushed to a point of pain. Working from top to bottom, seniors should stretch each of the major joints in all directions from the neck to the ankles three to five times slowly and gently.
Interested in learning more about seniors and staying active and flexible? Reach out to Home Care Assistance and find out how our hourly and live-in caregivers in Annapolis are helping seniors maintain as much activity as possible! Call 443-302-2771 – a friendly Care Manager is available 24/7 to answer questions.