As we age, staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly important. Exercise is an essential part of this, but for senior citizens, some particular activities should be included in their routine. Easy stretching exercises for senior citizens can help improve flexibility and reduce aches and pains associated with aging.
At Buckner Calder Woods, our top-notch recreational program is for senior citizens looking to stay active and healthy. The program offers a wide range of activities designed to cater to the needs of older adults, from yoga and stretching exercises to sailing and kayaking. For more information on our recreational program and how it can benefit your loved ones, reach out to our team today at 409.407.7636.
6 Most Important Stretching Exercises for Seniors
Stretching is a great way for seniors to stay active and healthy. It helps improve flexibility, balance, and posture and also helps prevent injuries. For seniors who don’t have the same range of motion or strength as they once did, stretching can be an important part of maintaining their quality of life. Here are the six most important stretching exercises for senior citizens:
1. Upper Body Stretch
This exercise stretches your chest area and arms while strengthening your core muscles. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and clasp your hands behind your back with palms together. Lift both arms until you feel a gentle stretch in the chest area, and hold that position for 10 seconds before releasing. Repeat this process three times.
2. Seated Neck Release
This basic stretching exercise helps reduce neck stiffness by increasing the range of motion in the cervical spine (neck). Begin by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your head facing forward. Slowly tilt your head down towards one shoulder until you feel a gentle tension in the neck, then hold that position for 10 seconds before releasing it. Repeat this process three times for each side of the neck.
3. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
This stretching exercise targets the quadriceps muscles at the front of your thighs and improves flexibility and blood flow. To begin, stand near a wall or something stable that can be used as support if needed (such as a railing or countertop). Bend one knee up towards your chest while keeping the other foot planted firmly on the ground. Then, grab onto that foot with one hand just above its ankle joint and use it to pull it closer to you until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of that thigh area. Hold this position for 10 seconds (or as long as you can) before releasing it and repeating it three times on each leg.
4. Gluteal Stretch
This stretching exercise for seniors targets multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, hips abductors, hip flexors, lower back extensors, and hamstrings—essentially, most areas below the waistline! To begin this easy stretching exercise, sit on a firm surface with one leg outstretched in front of you. Next, cross over this leg with the other leg while placing your arm over your knee to twist your body and stretch out the glute muscles. Be sure to turn toward the knee that is upright! Also, don’t forget to pull up slightly and lift your head towards the sky while straightening out your upper body so that you feel a gentle yet consistent tension.
5. Hamstring Stretch
This stretch improves flexibility along one’s lower back region by targeting the hamstrings and glutes. To begin this exercise, sit first on the edge of a chair or sturdy bench so that most of your weight rests mainly upon the legs and feet without placing too much pressure on the spine itself. Keep your knees bent parallel to the floor but let them relax outwards slightly. Next, bend forward from the waistline slowly toward your feet until tension is felt along the hamstring muscles behind your thighs. Be sure to fold from the hips and to protect your lower back!
6. Calf Raise Stretch
Calf raises work well without any equipment necessary, allowing seniors to condition these key lower body muscles! Begin standing upright near the wall or countertop. Next, slowly rise onto your toes while contracting your calf muscles tightly. Then, release back downwards slowly into the original starting position. Be sure to focus on the stretch and take it slow if it feels tight!
Helping Improve Mobility and Quality of Life With Buckner Calder Woods
Stretching exercises for senior citizens are vital to maintaining physical health and flexibility. Not only do these easy stretching exercises help seniors stay limber, but they can also reduce the risk of injury from falls or other accidents. Incorporating some of the most important stretching exercises for seniors into your daily routine allows you to keep yourself healthy and active as you age gracefully. For more information, reach out to our team of senior health and fitness professionals today at 409.407.7636 or contact us online.