Exercise: The Secret to Maintaining Flexibility
As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to do more and more of the everyday tasks we usually do. Even the smallest of naturally occurring changes in our health and body can keep us from living the active and independent lifestyle that we love. Don’t let lack of exercise and flexibility determine how active you are and how active you can be, instead fight back against aging by remaining flexible and active. The more flexible you are, the more life you are free to live as you choose!
According to Edward Toy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, maintaining their flexibility is one of the best things that you or a loved one could do as you age. “At Lions Gate, we encourage an active lifestyle because of all of the benefits that it can have on seniors as they age,” states Ed. “From driving, taking part in daily activities and being just plain healthy overall, maintaining flexibility can help to maintain you or a loved one’s active lifestyle, keeping everyone happier and healthier for longer.”
While exercise is good for keeping our stress levels down, reducing our pain and improving our circulation, it is also good for various other reasons – some of which can be surprising. The benefits to maintaining flexibility are endless when it comes to the health and well-being of you or a loved one.
HOW MAINTAINING FLEXIBILITY CAN BENEFIT YOU OR A LOVED ONE
Not only does exercising daily keep you or your loved ones healthy, but it keeps you flexible, as well. According to AARP and NIH Senior Health (NIH), exercising and flexibility in seniors can have far-reaching benefits, such as:
- Ability to continue driving longer. One of the biggest perks to exercising is the contribution it has to a positive driving experience. Per AARP, exercising can help keep you safer on the road. Drivers who exercised daily were found to have had greater ease in turning their heads, could rotate their bodies further and could get into their cars easier thanks to improved flexibility.
- Improving or maintaining balance. By doing any lower-body strength exercises, you are also increasing your muscle strength while simultaneously improving your balance. This helps you to climb the stairs easier, prevent falls and helps to decrease the likelihood of fall-related disabilities.
- Increasing levels of endurance. By increasing endurance, it is possible for you or a loved one to walk further, faster. Increased endurance can also help to improve breathing and heart. As if that wasn’t enough, increasing and maintaining your level of endurance can improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system per the NIH.
“While there are many benefits to flexibility, they can’t be of use to us if we don’t take action,” Ed states. “To maintain or increase your level of flexibility, it is important to exercise daily and keep moving. There is a lot of independence at stake.”
5 STRETCHES TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY
There are many exercises you or a loved one can do in order to take advantage of the benefits of being flexible, according to NIH Senior Health. These include:
- Neck Stretch. To do this exercise, keep your feet flat and shoulder width apart from each other. Turn your head to the right slowly until you feel it stretch. Do not tilt or tip your head forward or backward and do not stretch it too far. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Do the same on the left. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
- Chest Stretch. Stand or sit. Keep feet on the floor, shoulder length apart as above. Hold arms at shoulder height at your side, with your palms facing forward. Move your arms back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Stop and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds once you feel a stretch. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
- Ankle Stretch. Sit on the edge of a sturdy, armless chair. Make sure you won’t fall off. Stretch your legs in front of you. Bend your ankles to point your toes toward you, with your other foot still flat on the floor. Bend ankle to point your toes away from you and hold 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times with each foot.
- Hip Stretch. Lay on your back with legs together and knees bent. Be sure your feet and shoulders are flat on the floor. Lower one knee out as far as you can while keeping your feet together. Hold from 10 to 30 seconds. Bring knee back up slowly. Repeat 3 to 5 times with each leg.
- Lower Back Stretch. Lay on your back with legs together, knees bent, and feet, arms and shoulders flat on the floor. Keep knees bent and together while lowering both legs slowly to one side as far as possible. Hold this for 10 to 30 seconds. Bring legs back up slowly and repeat. Alternate sides at least 3 to 5 times on each side.
To read about or find more exercises that you or a loved one can try to improve flexibility, visit NIH Senior Health.
LIVE A MORE FLEXIBLE LIFE WITH LIONS GATE
“Living with less responsibilities means living with more flexibility at Lions Gate. We do the work so you don’t have to,” says Ed, “giving you more time to focus on yourself and your well-being. Come take a swim in our indoor heated pool or visit our fitness center. If you like more guided activities, try working with one of our trainers or attending one of our classes so you can see how we embrace total wellness and help you live well.”
Call or visit us today to experience our culture of total wellness and see for yourself how Lions Gate can help you live a more flexible life.
EXPERIENCE, LIFESTYLE, CARE, COMMUNITY AND TRADITION AT LIONS GATE.
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.