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How to Do Stretching Exercises as a Senior

By Contributor

As we age, our muscles can become stiffer and our movements slower and more painful. That makes it more difficult for a senior to do simple things, like walk up stairs, open jars and reach for objects. For a senior, stretching exercises are important in three ways: they help you to warm up before doing your endurance and strength exercises, they help you cool down after completing your exercise routine and they increase your muscle flexibility. Stretching exercises will improve your range of motion, help prevent muscle injuries and reduce muscle pain and stiffness. As you do your stretching exercises each day, you'll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish each day.

Stretch Your Pelvis and Thighs

Lie on a carpet or thick towel on the floor.

Bend both knees up until your feet are flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor at all times.

Lower your right knee very slowly to the side until it touches the floor. If you cannot touch your knee to the floor, do not force it, just lower it as far as it will go comfortably.

Hold this position for 5 seconds. Bring your knee back up slowly.

Repeat the exercise with the left leg. Rest for 5 seconds and then repeat the entire exercise, alternating legs, 4 to 5 times.

Stretch Your Hamstrings (Muscles in Back of Leg)

Stand straight behind a chair and hold onto the back with both arms stretched fully out.

Keep your back and shoulders straight and slowly bend towards the chair, moving from your hips, until your body is parallel to the floor.

Hold this position for 5 seconds. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat 5 to 6 times.

Stretch Your Wrists

Stand up straight, keeping your elbows at your sides, and bring the palms of your hands together, pointing up, in a praying position.

Raise your elbows slowly until they are parallel to the floor. If you can't raise them that high, just bring them to a height where you feel comfortable.

Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise 4 to 5 times.

Stretch Your Ankles

Sit up straight in a chair with arms and stretch your legs out in front of you. Slide down in the chair slightly, holding onto the arms.

Keep your heels on the floor and lift your toes until they point back towards you.

Keep your heels on the floor and point your toes away from you.

Repeat this exercise 4 to 5 times.

Rest for 10 seconds and do the exercise again, but this time lift your legs slightly off the floor. Rest for 5 seconds and then repeat the entire exercise 5 to 6 times.

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