Stretching is very important, in particular as we get into our more senior years. It helps us to keep our independence and ability to do tasks that we once thought were so easy such as tying our shoelaces or reaching to get something from a top shelf, but can become increasingly difficult as we age.
As we age our flexibility generally begins to decrease. This lack of flexibility can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, it can be the result of a medical condition or it can just be the result of adopting poor posture or improper alignment of the body for an extended period of time. Pain can also lead to a decrease in flexibility because often your pain causes you to decrease your use of that particular part of the body. If any part of your body is not being used you are likely to lose flexibility and feel tight in that area. This tightness leads to a restriction in the movement, which can lead to less use creating another large problem as unused muscles become weaker!
It is very important that we all stretch, however also remember that your flexibility wont increase overnight as it didn’t decrease that quickly either. Start slowly and don’t bounce whilst you stretch to try push further because this puts you at a greater risk of injury.
We should be trying to stretch on most (if not all) days of the week, inclduing a stretch for all major body parts (check with a professional if you have concerns about what may be right for you). The great thing about stretching is that it doesn’t need to be done in a gym, and it doesn’t necessarily need any equipment, so happy stretching everyone!
If you have any further questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologist.