5 Stretches To Improve Flexibility And Slow Down Aging

5 Stretches To Improve Flexibility And Slow Down Aging

5 Stretches To Improve Flexibility And Slow Down Aging


Are you aging well? I know it’s a direct question, but it’s one we should all be asking ourselves, at least occasionally. Flexibility is a significant measure of aging? How flexible are you? Try these 5 stretches to improve flexibility and slow down aging.

woman stretching at beach

Flexibility: How Fast Are You Aging?


Muscles lose strength and flexibility with age. They also become shorter and less elastic, and the ligaments and tendons surrounding them contract. This leads to stiff joints that require more effort in order to move. Range of motion then becomes restricted, which is a setup for future injury. Connective tissues can sprain or tear when a joint is stretched past its limited range of motion. Stretching lengthens the muscles around the joints enabling them to move more effectively.

Your quality of life is greatly enhanced or diminished by your level of flexibility, and the range of motion in your joints. We’ve all seen older people who can barely move. The limitations on what they can and cannot do is profound. A lack of flexibility leads to issues with posture and balance, and increases the risk of falling, which can set up a cascade for future complications.

[Read More: Tips To Relieve Tight Fascia]

Maintaining your flexibility is a major key to aging well. It doesn’t take much time, and is well worth the effort you’ll expend. You will need to be consistent, but who doesn’t have a few extra minutes each day to devote to their health? I’m a huge fan of magnesium because it relaxes muscles, and relaxed muscles are more flexible. This brand of magnesium is the best I’ve tried.

Test the age of your body by watching the video below. The results may surprise you!

Flexibility And Mobility


In my opinion, the number one reason to pay attention to the flexibility of your muscles and joints is increased mobility. The ability to be able to complete daily tasks, have freedom of movement, and full function of your body cannot be underestimated. When autonomy is taken away, life changes pretty fast.

Stretching isn’t glamorous, and rarely receives the attention it deserves. Flexibility is an often neglected aspect of fitness, which is unfortunate, because inflexible muscles and stiff joints lead to numerous problems throughout the body. Here’s why you want to be more flexible:

ProSourceFit rollers and muscle therapy banner

1. Decreased back pain and pain in general: Inflexible muscles in one part of the body can lead to pain and discomfort in, supposedly, unrelated areas.

For instance, tight hamstrings have a negative impact on pelvic muscles, causing pressure in the lower back. Stress on the spine is created when these pelvic and hip flexor muscles are tight and restricted. Stretching all the main muscle groups in the body goes along way in preventing pain and dysfunction.

2. Increased range of motion: Tight muscles prevent joints from moving at their full range of motion. Everyday activities can then become difficult, leading to falls and other injuries.

3. Better posture: Poor posture is common as people age. Tight muscles affect the alignment of the spine, leading to poor posture. This negatively affects circulation and inhibits the nervous system. It can also lead to back pain, and back pain often becomes chronic.

4. Increased circulation: The blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen to all the cells of the body. Optimal circulation is essential for good health. Tense and tight muscles impede circulation, while relaxed muscles improve blood flow to both muscles and joints.

[Read More: The Benefits Of Hanging Upside Down]

Can I Become More Flexible?


Your knees, ankles, and shoulders are three joints in your body that are used every time you walk or reach for something. The shoulder is the most flexible and mobile joint in the body. You need it to push and pull, and to lift and rotate. Many shoulder muscles are not used during simple daily activities. This means you need to make a conscious effort to use all of your muscles using targeted exercises, which I will share below.

resistance bands banner

Knees were made to bend, and when they don’t, you’ll have pain and limited range of motion. If you haven’t noticed, you need your knees for every day tasks. The knee has many tendons, muscles, and ligaments that all work together to allow you to bend and move from side to side. Bending engages both your hamstring and quadricep muscles. Can you see how everything works together?

The ankle is a large hinge joint that allows the foot to move up and down. It is made up of three bones: the tibia or shin bone, the fibula, which is the narrow bone running alongside the shin bone, and the talus or ankle bone.

Cartilage cushions these bones, and many ligaments, muscles, and tendons enable the ankle to move. If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, you know how it affects your mobility. You can improve your flexibility no matter what your age. Muscle strength and flexibility both help maintain the integrity of your joints.

Stretches To Improve Flexibility


You can strengthen your joints and muscles by doing a few simple stretches and exercises at home. Perform each stretch a minimum of four days a week, and hold for at least thirty seconds.

Use a yoga mat or other soft surface when performing these stretches. You can also use bands to improve flexibility and range of motion.

1. Standing Hamstring Stretch


Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly. While you exhale, slowly bring your chest toward your knees as close as you can. Stretch gently and carefully. Your chest does not need to touch your knees. Only go as far as you can. Grip the backs of your lower legs and hold for 30-45 seconds. Slowly roll back up to your starting position. You’ll feel a stretch in your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and back. Keeping your hamstrings stretched and relaxed, prevent back pain.

Are You Aging Well? Four Helpful Tips

2. Piriformis Stretch


If you haven’t heard of the piriformis muscle, it’s located on the outside of your butt, and helps rotate your hips. This stretch is a great way to prevent sciatica as this muscle crosses over the sciatic nerve. Keeping the piriformis muscle relaxed prevents irritation to the sciatic nerve.

If you’ve ever had nerve pain, you now just how uncomfortable it is so prevention is key. This stretch is one of my favorites. Place your elbow on the opposite knee while twisting your torso. Hold for 30-45 seconds while gently breathing in and out. You’ll feel a stretch in your hips, glutes, and back.

Are You Aging Well? Four Helpful Tips

3. Extended Leg Inner Thigh Stretch


With one leg extended and the other one bent, grasp your toes and slowly bring your head to your knee. Your elbow should be close to your ear. Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch is great for the inner thighs, obliques, and upper arms.

How Fast Are You Aging? Try These Four Stretches

4. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch


This stretch works your hip flexors, glutes, and quads. Place your right knee on the floor, and your left foot in front of your right knee with the knee bent. Gently lower your right hip towards the floor and hold for one minute. Slowly build up the time you hold this stretch. Repeat on the other leg.

woman stretching

5. Bended Back Stretch


Be careful when you do this stretch. You don’t want to hurt yourself. With both knees on the ground,  slowly place your left palm on your left heel. Now raise your right arm upwards. You’ll feel a strong stretch in your lower back and arms. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.

woman stretching with hand in air

There are many other stretches to improve flexibility. Try to work all your major muscles to keep your body balanced and flexible.

compassionate cancer coaching banner

Key Thoughts


Flexibility leads to increased mobility and the autonomy to complete what needs to be done on any given day. Mobility is something we should never take for granted.

Spend a few minutes everyday implementing these stretches to improve flexibility. My favorite time to stretch is right when I wake up.

You’ll have better posture and balance and won’t experience the devastating consequences of being dependent on others as you age. Commit today to improve and maintain your flexibility so you can do all the things that bring you joy!

What do you do to maintain your flexibility? I would love it if you took the time to share your experience. Let me know in the comments:)

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “5 Stretches To Improve Flexibility And Slow Down Aging”

  1. Great topic and stretching is such a simple thing that is often forgotten in the world of fitness and what people associate with maintaining fitness. I have felt my muscle mass diminishing over time, and I try to mix up between squats, some planking and other leg stretches when possible.

    My arm and shoulder flexibility from years of playing cricket is probably below average as well. I also have some knee and ankle issues to consider. I’ll be using these stretches. Thank you for the insights.

    • hi Shane,

      Yes, stretching is so simple and so good for us. It’s essential for aging well because muscles keep the body’s structure aligned. That’s smart to stretch between exercises. 

      Do some simple stretches for your arm and shoulder flexibility. It will likely feel really good as long as you don’t overdo it. Thanks for reading!

  2. I would like to start stretching and I am glad that I found your blog post. I have learned a lot and I am gonna apply them step by step and hopefully I will improve.

    I think stretching is very important for good health. I usually spend my days sitting at my desk and I get so much pain in my back. I have tried exercising but it takes a lot of time to begin to feel some improvement. I need to spend an hour exercising and stretching every day. But I don’t always have so much time. So, I will at least try to stretch regularly. I hope it will be better.

    Thanks!

    • Hello and thank you. Stretching is a great way to get the kinks out of your back from sitting all day. Every 30 minutes or so, I get up and stretch. It’s helps with circulation and mental focus. If you don’t have an hour to devote to exercise, at least stretch for just a few minutes. Any positive change you make does make a difference!

  3. Thanks for sharing these 5 exercises with me, I have always had a problem with aching joints and lack of flexibility so I will be sure to add these stretching exercises into my daily routine, you have really gone into depth about the huge benefits and I will be sure to share your post with my colleagues.

    The fact that these 5 stretches slow down aging as well is great news for me and my wife, as I am writing this comment my wife is already trying them out, she is loving the lunging hip flexor stretch, I am sure we will both benefit from them in the future, we will also be saving your website so that we can read more and benefit from all your posts, thanks again for sharing this valuable information.
    James

    • Hi James, 

      Thanks for your comment. I have found that stretching can help with aching joints. I stretch every morning for 15 minutes and it’s a great way to begin my day. The hip flexor stretch is one of my favorites. The importance of flexibility increases with age. The more flexible a person is, the better their balance will be. 

  4. Excellent article! Well written in layman’s terms. From my little knowledge, I know flexibility can deteriorate, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle, and a lack of flexibility makes normal daily activities more difficult to do, leading to reduced mobility over time. Stretching our muscles regularly will help avoid loss of mobility.

    This article is worth sharing.

    Regards!

    • Hi Jordan,

      Thank you. Yes, lack of flexibility can result in all sorts of negative repercussions, none of them good. Stretching is particularly essential as we age so we can retain a high degree of stability, balance and mobility. Just a few minutes a day, or at least a few times a week, will do the trick. I appreciate your comment!

  5. I’m so glad I found this. I work from home and sit at my desk most of the day. I have always been told that i need to get up and move around every hour but never quite knew what to really “Do”. Stretching certainly seems much better than walking on the treadmill. 

    There are so many different stretches that I would have never thought of before reading this! So I can have plenty to use over the course of each day of the week. And I knew it was good for mobility but had no idea it had any connection with aging. I’m going to incorporate these into my daily routine for sure! Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Lakeisha,

      I appreciate you reading my post. I work from home and sit at my desk a lot as well. I get up at least every hour and stretch. It helps with my mental focus, and I don’t get sore at the end of the day like I used to. It’s worth taking the time to do. The best part, stretching isn’t a time drain, it just takes consistency. Do try the stretches!

  6. I really like these stretches. Unfortunately, I am a little sedentary. I exercise with bands a few times a week. But your page offers good products to use. I also do yoga once in awhile which is very good for strteching. I visited your hanging upside down post and I found it very interesting. 

    Really, I had never thought about this before! Unfortunately, I have a health condition that deprives me from doing this type of activity. It is a pity because it sounds very useful and fun! Thanks for posting such an important topic about health.

    • Hi Michelle,

      Stretching is a great way to ease out of being sedentary. Just start slow and listen to your body. Inversion therapy is a great way to stretch your spine. I’ve been doing it for years and feel that it’s really helped me. Thanks for reading both my posts!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.