Stretching exercises are not just for the young and athletic. The team at Cairnhill Physio firmly believes that stretching should be part of your routine physical activity, particularly as you age. It’s vital to be as active as you can because it can reduce the risk of major health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Developing and maintaining your flexibility is also beneficial and stretching plays a big part in that. By staying flexible as you age, you reduce the risk of injury, maintain good balance, have a better range of motion and improved posture. You will also feel stronger because greater flexibility gives you a range of motion that allows your muscles to work more efficiently. Good flexibility will also aid in joint health, so you can keep on doing your favourite things and hold onto a good degree of independence.
Many people believe that a loss of flexibility is a sign of age and once it’s gone, you can never get it back. That’s not necessarily true. The reason we become less flexible is often down to lifestyle choices i.e. we choose not to exercise as often as we once did. By making a concerted effort to be more active, you can regain a good degree of flexibility – certainly enough to enjoy all of the benefits we have just discussed. We can help you by developing an exercise programme that will likely include stretching and strengthening – you might not be as flexible as you were as a teenager but you’ll certainly be in far better shape by following our programme.
It is true that our bodies have a tendency to degenerate as we age. Our skin loses its elasticity, and muscle tone and bone density are reduced. The water content in our tendons decreases and so our tendons get stiffer as a result. All these factors can combine to limit our flexibility, with the most commonly affected areas being the shoulders and the hips. However, the spine, neck, knees, ankles and joints are also impacted and that’s when the aches and pains associated with ageing become common. While we can’t turn back the clock, we can slow down the process by making a choice to become more active, and more flexible.
Contact us and we can help you stay flexible through stretching and strengthening exercises, and whatever else we believe will be beneficial to you. We’re not promising a miracle cure and a return to your youthful flexibility. But we can make life easier and more enjoyable – and a good deal healthier too.