Flexibility is one of the most underrated of human fitness attributes. This is quite unfortunate since this physical capacity is actually directly associated with pain avoidance and tolerance. The more flexible a person is, the less prone he or she gets to stretched muscles or inflamed joints due to overexertion. The good thing is it’s not too late to start acquiring at least a practical level of flexibility. Even for adults past their 40s, there are some exercises that can still facilitate flexibility, and ideally, alleviate various concerns related to stiff joints and muscles.
As for golden men and women, age comes with the onset of chronic attacks of pain. One of the most prevalent chronic pains amongst the older age bracket is back pain. This is where flexibility comes in, and where stretching exercises prove rather beneficial.
Here are three simple stretching exercises to aid men and women who suffer from back or lower-back pain.
Overhead Stretch (Seated)
This exercise allows the improvement of back and lower back posture in relation to shoulder muscles. More importantly, overhead stretch improves the flexibility of shoulder muscles by stretching its components.
This routine is achieved by seating down on the floor while keeping the legs straight and flat on the surface. Both the arms and back should be in straight position; the arms on the side, before reaching for the tip of your toes. Start bending your elbows and raise your arms slowly- still straight or parallel to your legs- toward the top of your head. Hold the highest arm position you could muster for at least five seconds before resuming your initial position. At least ten repetitions are recommended to achieve full potential of this exercise.
Some of the areas covered or addressed by this routine include the lower back, knees, and quadriceps. These parts of the body-especially in the case of aging men and women- are normally attacked by tightness or tautness that oftentimes lead to chronic pain.
This routine is done by lying on a flat surface with the hands comfortably resting on either sides of the body. Next step is to pull the legs slowly toward the chest area and clutching the legs with your two arms. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds before releasing the legs back to their original position. After both legs have been stretched, the next part is to deal with each leg separately for at least 10 cycles.
This exercise is quite beneficial to individuals who are consistently attacked by back or lower back pain. Side to side stretch allows the stomach and back muscles to loosen.
Sit on a sturdy chair with your legs apart. Place your arms at the back of your head so that your elbows face opposite directions. Bend toward each directions of your elbow—this step stretches the opposite part of the body (primarily your abdominal and back muscles) from which the movement is anchored. Repeat this routine at least ten times for each side.
These routines should be done daily for utmost effect.
Guest author Marc works at All Time Medical, a company which specializes in elderly and disabled living aids such as wheelchairs and rollators. Get tips on how to Eat Right, Eat Healthy in his article about The Slow Food Movement at Getholistichealth.com.