Fitness Over Fifty Part 2

Fitness Over Fifty – The Senior Stretch – Warming Up Before Starting Your Day

Perhaps no aspect of senior fitness is overlooked as often as stretching. Stretching in the
morning may be the best way to make the most of every day. Regular morning stretches help
maintain overall flexibility, which, in turn, enhances the rest of our lives. Stretching prevents
everyday injuries and allows our muscles to perform at their maximum potential. In addition,
stretching is simple, requiring no additional equipment or physical skills and demanding only a
small investment in time.

Benefits Of Stretching Daily

Like a good tune up for an automobile stretching daily, especially in the morning, helps work
out any “kinks” in the body. Also, stretching in the morning prevents those “kinks” from
happening to begin with. For example, muscle and back pain can be both alleviated and
prevented by a good program of daily stretching.

In addition, stretching prepares your body for the rest of the day. Balance and coordination are
improved and flexibility is increased. The body’s range of motion and ease of movement are
heightened, and muscles are prepared for activity. The mind, too, benefits from the relaxation,
peace, and calm that is induced through just 10-15 minutes of stretching each morning. Mental
and physical tension, as well as anxiety and blood pressure can be reduced through focusing on
the muscles as you stretch in the morning.

Stretching For Seniors

Although you don’t have to be an expert in order to stretch, there are some important
guidelines that will help you make the most of a morning stretching session. If you don’t have
any experience with stretching, several dozen books and Online resources exist to show you
how. Many of these include illustrations as well as text. Similar books and websites cover other
stretching methods such as yoga.

No matter what method you choose, make sure and listen to your muscles during stretching.
As you execute each stretch, push yourself to the point where the muscle feels strained but not
painful. When you reach the point where the muscle feels tight, hold the position for 10-15
seconds until the muscle loosens. Then stretch a little further. Following this technique, you can increase
your range of motion without experiencing discomfort or pain. While stretching, avoid the
impulse to bounce or ‘bob’. Pushing the muscle past the point of tolerance gently and momentarily. Bouncing may
allow you to stretch a little further. However, it greatly increases the chance of injury.

For maximum benefits, physical fitness experts recommend stretching uniformly. This signifies that
each stretch on one side of the body (your right leg, for example), should be matched by a
stretch on the other side (your left leg). In addition, make sure to stretch complimentary
muscles—if you stretch the muscle on the front of your leg (called the quadriceps), stretch the
complimentary muscle on the back of your leg (the hamstring). Notice the balance of effort here.

The Basics: Watch To See How To Stretch Correctly

Try Gentle Yoga Stretching As You Progress!

Make Stretching Regularly A Good Habit

Initially, you may not be able to move through a wide range of motion. Don’t let this frustrate
you. Each day you will find yourself able to stretch a little further, and the stretching will
become less stressful and more enjoyable. Muscles that have not been stretched in a long time
(years perhaps for some of us) take time to regain their flexibility. Stay with it! The benefits of a
flexible body far outnumber the time and discomfort you may go through when you start
stretching daily.

Make sure you keep yourself in the habit of stretching each day. Skipping a few morning
sessions will result in muscles tightening back up. Create a schedule (10-15 minutes
per day) and stick to it. If you can manage to keep up with regular morning stretching, you will
feel the benefits very rapidly.

Qi Gong Has Is A Popular Practice. Enjoy Trying Something New

We can do many things to aid us in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. No matter what you
choose to do, begin each day with a stretching session. Few activities are as simple, requiring
no special equipment or expertise! Your body will feel and respond better and will be able to
perform to a higher potential. Injuries, aches and muscle strain can be avoided. The rest
of the days physical activity will be greatly aided by starting off your day right with a good stretch.
Most importantly, after you have established a habit of stretching each morning, you will feel
limber and lithe. So warm up before you start each day. Stretch right out!