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Senior Health Expo

Seniors physical therapy at Flexx Medical

As we age, concerns surrounding our health often intensifies. By paying close attention to the signals our body sends and incorporating some healthy habits into our daily routines, we can improve our quality of life and avoid more serious health problems down the road. Remember, you don't have to go all out to get the most of your Health and Fitness. Flexx recommends, starting with this simple step that can make a world of difference, especially if you don't yet have a set exercise regimen.

Stretch

Gone are those carefree childhood days free from stiff muscles and uncooperative joints. As we get older, it seems to be faster and easier for our muscles to shorten and tighten. Flexibility, dexterity, and balance feel like relics from the past. Then, a slight wrong movement can cause a cramp or pain.

Stretching keeps the muscles lean and extendable so that exertion is less likely to cause pain and damage. Adopting a regular (ideally daily) stretching routine provides so many benefits:
 Reduction of risk of injury to muscles and joints
 Lower likelihood of accidental falls
 Improved range of motion
 Optimal muscle strength
 Ability to maintain good posture and balance
 Decrease in chronic pain

Ultimately, these benefits lead to:
 Better performance in fitness and everyday actions/movement
 A healthier, more youthful appearance
 More independence during your later years

How Much Do I Have to Stretch?

Our body is full of muscles, so trying to work all of them may feel overwhelming. The good news is that you don't have to stretch every single muscle, although working your way up to a routine that encompasses stretching for your entire body would definitely bring positive effects. The most critical areas in terms of mobility are part of your lower extremities:
Hamstrings
Calves
 Hip flexors/pelvis
Quadriceps

Start with those, as well as your neck, shoulders, and lower back. You should complete your stretch routine at least two to three times a week minimum. Doing it daily would be even more beneficial.

Some Simple Stretches

Here are a few stretches you can do for the parts we have listed above.

Hamstrings— Sit on the floor, legs in front of you. Slide your hands down the front of your legs until you feel "burning." Hold this position for 30 seconds. Return to your sitting position, but do it slowly.

Calves— Stand, placing your hands against the wall or the back of a chair. Move one foot in front of the other while keeping your back leg straight. Your front knee should be slightly bent, and both feet should be flat on the ground. Bend your front knee towards the wall or chair until you feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Pelvis/hips— Lie on your back and bring one knee to the side. Rest the foot against the opposite leg. Gently push on your bent knee until you feel the resistance. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.\

Quadriceps— Stand or lie on the floor, on your side. Bend your knee so that your foot goes behind you. Take your foot in your hand (or use a towel or belt if you are unable to reach your foot) and pull it towards your body until you feel the stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Neck— Slowly bring your chin down to your chest. Hold 15 seconds. Turn your head to one side slowly. Hold that position for 15 seconds. Turn your head to the other side, slowly. Hold for 15 seconds.

Shoulders— Hold a towel with one hand and bring it over your head and back so that it drapes down behind the head and back. Grab the other end of the towel with the other hand, gently tugging down until you feel the resistance.

Lower back— Lay down on your back with your knees together and bent, your feet together and flat on the ground. Twist your torso, lowering your legs to one side until you feel the resistance. Make sure your knees and feet stay together throughout. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Don't Push Too Hard

It's not a contest. If you are not used to stretching or exercising, start small. Never push yourself to the point that you feel pain. It should only be a mild "burning" or stretching feeling. Start with repetitions of three to five, and work yourself up to 10 or more. If you feel any pain or have any questions, contact us — we are here to take care of it.

Flexx Columbus
Discover A New Level Of Wellness
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2013 Highway 45 N, Suite 1, Columbus, MS 39705
662.327.6586
info@flexxmedical.com
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