Aging is a natural progression of life and we all get older. There is a misconception that as we do our body systems breakdown naturally which prevent us from continuing to be physically active. It is true that with age our muscles naturally tighten which can lead to mobility concerns. However there is more to the story. Often older people tend to be less active therefore decreasing general flexibility and further decreasing the body’s ability to physically function well.
Of course our activity levels should be complimentary to our abilities but aging isn’t something we should be scared of. We want to focus on healthy aging! Consciously choosing to incorporate age appropriate stretching and mobility exercises will help prevent many mobility and flexibility issues.
As we age our physical activity (intensity and type) should be modified as we want to ensure to stay active within our limits. It is also important to ensure that the risk of falling is as minimal as possible for older adults.
Here are some simple mobility stretches to help you age healthy. The following is a recommendation from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.
Upper Body Stretch
Stand slightly further than arm’s length from a wall, facing towards it with your feet shoulder-width a
part. Lean forward placing the palms of your hands against the wall, facing upwards. Slowly walk your hands up the wall until they are aboveyour head, focusing on keeping your back straight.
Repetition: Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Slowly walk your hands back down the wall. Repeat at least 3 to 5 more times.
Lower Back Stretch
First, lie on your back with your legs together, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Try to keep both arms and shoulders flaton the floor throughout the stretch. Keeping knees bent and together, slowly lower both legs to one side as far as you comfortably can.
Repetition: Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds. Bring legs back up slowly and repeat toward other side. Continue alternating sides for at least 3 to 5 times on each side.
Sit securely towards the edge of an armless chair with your legs stretched out in front of you. With your hands holding thesides of the seat of the chair for support, keep your heels on the floor while bending your ankles to point your toes to the sky.
Repetition: Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds then release. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Please keep in mind that this is just a general guide. Always consult with a registered health care practitioner if you have any specific questions or concerns about your health. Dr. Elysse Pilon is accepting new patients and would be happy to discuss any of your healthcare needs!
Author: Dr. Elysse Pilon, B.A. Kin (Hons), D.C., C.Ac
Chiropractor | Acupuncture Provider | Paediatrics | Custom Orthotics
Please note that this is for educational purposes only and not intended as specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns make sure to consult one of our knowledgeable health practitioners at Lawrence Park Health Clinic.