Stretching in the morning can do wonders for arthritis and joint pain. Committing to daily morning stretches along with a warm shower afterwards will help keep muscles more limber for seniors especially. If you’re not sure what stretches to start with, here’s a list of morning stretches that the team at Aging Gracefully has put together.
Safety note: Seniors should consult a doctor or primary caregiver before performing any new stretches. If you begin to feel any intense pain during the stretch, slowly return to the starting position and call a medical professional immediately.
1. Overhead Side Stretch – Loosens up muscles in your core
Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, raise both of your arms overhead and interlace your fingers with your palms facing up. Now, slightly lean to the right and hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with the left side.
2. Shoulder Stretch – Targets joint pain in shoulders
Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, reach your right arm across your body, so that your fingertips are pointing to the left. Make sure to keep your arm as straight as you can. Next, place your left hand on your upper right arm and gently pull your arm towards you. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and then repeat with your left arm.
3. Triceps Stretch – Strengthens triceps muscles
Suggested Repetitions: Hold 15-30 seconds per side. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, raise both of your arms overhead and bend your right arm so it rests behind your head. Next, place your left hand above your right elbow and gently pull your right arm closer. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and then repeat with your left arm.
4. Hamstring Stretch – Targets joint pain in legs, lower back
Suggested Repetitions: 5 times per leg. Place your right heel on a bench in front of you, with your right leg straight and toes pointing up. Without slouching over, gently hinge forward from your hips until you feel a comfortable stretch in your right hamstring. Hold this position for about 15-30 seconds and then repeat with the left leg. Alternate this stretch 5 times with each leg.
5. Towel Squeeze – Targets arthritis pain in hands
Suggested Repetitions: 10-15 times per hand. Grab a small hand towel that is rolled up. Take the towel in your right hand and squeeze. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then alternate to the left hand, taking a quick rest in between. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each hand.
Senior Fitness in Assisted Living
At premier assisted living facilities, fitness instructors are available every morning to guide morning stretches for senior residents. If you’re a beginner when it comes to stretching and working out, there’s no need to panic! Instructors at these senior communities can easily modify the stretch to accommodate your fitness level and provide extra support during the stretch if needed.
Original content published: https://jchcorp.org/5-essential-morning-stretches-for-seniors/