Total Body Stretches for Seniors

There are total body stretches for seniors so that they can maintain their joint and muscle health. Keep reading to find out more.
Total Body Stretches for Seniors

Last update: 19 March, 2019

Older people tend to have a higher risk of suffering from ailments related to muscle and joint wear. As such, doing total body stretches for seniors is an excellent way to prevent certain health problems.

Indeed, stretching is great at any age. Still, seniors can enjoy better functionality of their body if they add it to their daily routine.

When the body performs little or no exercise, its joints tend to harden. What’s more, there’s often an increase in muscle fatigue and decreased blood flow. As such, stretching goes from being a series of exercises to being necessary for a body to be healthy and to fulfill its functions. Find out more about total body stretches for seniors below.

Before starting total body stretches for seniors

Now, it’s important to take care of certain aspects before starting total body stretches for seniors to avoid injuries or muscle soreness. That’s why it’s crucial to pay attention to the following points:

  • Avoid forcing your body. If for some reason you aren’t able to do a stretch completely, don’t push your body to do it. Do it as far as you can; with consistency, you’ll be able to get there. Stretching should not hurt at all. Though you might feel a little pressure, you should never feel pain in your limbs.
  • Relax your muscles. While stretching, it’s very important to relax your muscles as opposed to tensing them up. This way, you’ll be able to stretch them and give them the oxygen they need without any problems.
  • Do the exercises correctly. Try following the technique for these total body stretches for seniors as correctly as possible.
People on mats stretching total body stretches for seniors

Total body stretches for seniors

Doing a full stretch when getting up can boost your energy. Also, it can help take some tension away from your muscles after your daily activities. What’s more, stretching before going to sleep can help you shake off stress and sleep better.

So, if you want to do it at the beginning, end, or even halfway through your day, you’re free to decide whatever is best for you. What’s important is to take care of your body through these total stretching exercises for seniors:

Neck

  • Firstly, stand tall with your arms to your sides. Then, keeping your shoulders aligned, turn your head slightly to the right. Hold this pose for 15 seconds; then, look ahead and repeat on your left side.
Woman stretching neck on grass|

  • When you’ve finished, rest for about five seconds. Then, push your head back without applying any pressure. Hold the pose for 15 seconds; look forward and then repeat by tilting your head down.
Total body stretches for seniors
Image: hogarmania.com

Shoulders

  • Standing with your back straight, move your right shoulder back using slow, careful movements. Do 10 repetitions. Then, do 10 repetitions moving your shoulders forwards. Repeat the whole procedure with your other shoulder, and then with both shoulders at the same time.
  • Now, extend one arm forward and bring it upward and then backward in a circular motion. Try to do 5 to 10 repetitions with both arms.

Hips

  • Firstly, stand tall with your feet apart and your hands on your hips. Now, make circular movements in a clockwise direction for thirty seconds. Then, do the same but in the opposite direction for another 30 seconds.

Back

  • Take a medicine ball (or a normal ball) and hold it at chest level with both hands. Then, turn your torso to the right, with your eyes and the ball following the direction you turn. Then, go back to the starting position and repeat on the other side; do 20 repetitions.
Man and woman training medicine balls

Legs

  • Standing with your back straight and facing forward, bring one knee to your chest and hold it with both hands. Hold for 15 seconds, lower your leg and do the same with the other.
Total body stretches for seniors

  • Once you’ve finished, bend a knee, bringing your foot back. Then, hold it with your hands and bring it as close as possible to your glutes. Hold this pose for 20 seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Woman stretching runner

Feet

  • Firstly, stand with your hands on your hips, facing straight ahead. Extend your right leg forward and make circular movements with your foot for 10 seconds. Then, draw a “6” in the air for 10 more seconds. Finally, repeat with your other foot.

Total body stretches for seniors: conclusion

In conclusion, total body stretches for seniors help you relax, lubricate your joints, increase your range of mobility, and produce endorphins. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and stay hydrated to avoid muscle cramps. Make sure you add total body stretches to your daily routine!

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  • Chen, K. M., Chen, M. H., Hong, S. M., Chao, H. C., Lin, H. S., & Li, C. H. (2008). Physical fitness of older adults in senior activity centres after 24-week silver yoga exercises. Journal of Clinical Nursing17(19), 2634–2646. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02338.x