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  • Writer's pictureThe Ideal Team

Stretches for Seniors

As we age, we tend to lose flexibility in our muscles. Our bodies begin to ache and we feel slight discomfort or pain in our joints during daily tasks. One way to combat this is to begin daily light stretching activities.

We have put together 5 basic stretches for you to try! We recommend doing all 5 stretches over a period of 5 - 10 mins total, especially if you are a beginner. Also, don't forget to breathe into each stretch. Often times we hold our breath until the stretch is complete, however, it is best to maintain your regular breathing (or breathe deeper, if possible) during every stretch.

Always remember to speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine and be mindful of any pain or discomfort while stretching and stop if you do. Do not perform any activity if you have an existing injury or condition before speaking with your doctor.

Chest Stretch

This stretch is a great way of opening up your chest, especially after long periods of sitting.

Begin in a seated or standing position, with feet securely on the ground and knees slightly bent for stability. With a partner, or on your own, gently raise your arms straight out beside you (almost forming the letter T with your body). Carefully and gently, bring your arms slightly back behind you while still outstretched. This will bring in your shoulder blades as if you are squeezing a pencil between them. Hold the stretch for 5 - 10 seconds, then relax your arms. Repeat this 5 times.

Neck Stretch

This is an excellent stretch, especially if you are sitting at a computer during the day or to relax after other daily activities.

While seated comfortably, with a partner, or on your own, raise your left arm and place your hand on the top of your head. Carefully and slowly, guide your head with your hand (you may feel a slight press down with your fingers) while bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10 - 15 seconds and repeat with your right side. Repeat 3 - 5 times on each side.

Arm Stretch

If you do any lifting, gardening, housework, or reaching for items around the house, your arms require a range of mobility and motion. therefore stretching your arms are a necessary daily activity to perform basic tasks.

Begin in a seated or standing position. Feet shoulder-width apart and stable. Bring one arm straight across your chest and, if possible, using your other hand, gently hold or press at the forearm and give a slight press on the outstretched arm towards your body. Hold the stretch for 20 - 30seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat the stretch 3 times on each side.

Overhead Stretch

This stretch works the muscles in your arms and torse/obliques. It must be done carefully and gently to avoid any injury to your back and hips.

This stretch is effective while standing or seated comfortably with feet pressed to the ground for stability. First, place one hand on your hip, then gently raise the other arm out and above your head while slowly and carefully leaning to one side. Make sure that your hips remain still and facing forward, as you are not bending at the waist, but rather stretching the arm and side of your torso and ribcage area. Holdthe stretch for 10 - 20 seconds and repeat with the other arm. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Lower Body Stretch

Stretching out your lower back, shoulders, and the back of your legs is a great way to loosen muscles for more flexibility and overall strength and wellness.

This stretch is best performed seated on a mat on the floor, but can be done standing up, is possible. Begin by sitting on a comfortable mat on the floor with your legs stretched straight out and together in front of you. With your back straight, gently bring your arms out in front of you. Bend at the waist slightly in front of you as your hands reach towards your feet. Stop when you feel a nice stretch. Do not over reach as this may cause damage or injury to your lower back. Hold the stretch for 5 second. Repeat 3 - 5 times.

Phsyical activity and stretching our bodies at any age is vital to our overall health and wellness. Stretching, in particular, aligns our body, strengthens our ability to flex and move, and provides a sense of calm and peace. Accompanied by soft music or done outdoors can also capture a level of tranquility often needed throughout the day.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

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