While cardio and strength training remain important—it’s recommended that you do 150 minutes of moderate activity each week—stretching is vital maintenance for your body, especially as we get older.
As a caretaker, you will want your loved one to remain physically active for as long as possible. Stretching can relieve soreness, help prevent injuries, and help maintain flexibility and balance.
Centers Choice Home Care has a look at five stretches that seniors should do every day and when to do them.
- Lumbar Rotation (When You Wake Up)
You can do this stretch before you even get out of bed. Sit up in your bed and put your feet flat on the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, you can use a chair. From the sitting position, roll your shoulders back while looking straight ahead. Place your left hand behind your left hip and your right hand on your right knee. Deeply inhale then rotate your shoulders to the left and look behind you while you exhale. Hold for five seconds and then return to center. Do this for five reps on both sides.
- Chest Stretch (After Sitting for at Least 30 Minutes)
This stretch will check your posture, since most people begin to slump after sitting for a long period of time. Either sitting or standing, lock your fingers, bend your elbows, and raise your arms above your head. Then move your elbows and hands backward by gently squeezing your shoulder blades together. The height of your hands determines the level of stretch, so do what you’re comfortable with.
- Pelvic Bridge (Before a Workout)
This is a great stretch for your core, hips, and back. While lying down on a mat, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground, about hip-distance apart. While making sure your lower back stays on the mat, slowly roll your hips off the mat until they are extended as possible. Slowly return to the original position, and do the whole thing 15 times total.
- Knee-to-Chest Stretch (After Workout)
After a workout, you’ll want to stretch out those hips. Lie back down on your mat but with both legs extended this time. While keeping your left leg straight and your lower back on the mat, pull your right knee into your chest. Hold for at least 30 seconds and up to two minutes if you can. Then repeat on the other leg.
To learn more about Centers Choice Home Care and all the services they offer, visit CentersChoice.com.