As we age, flexibility takes on an ever important role in health and fitness. Stretching helps to prevent stiffness and shortening of muscles that can lead to pain and injuries in older adults. It creates the foundation by which strength, flexibility and balance can grow, all while reducing stress on muscles while you train and reducing pain thereafter.
Here are 4 easy morning stretches that will help prepare you for the day.
The seated side stretch
Sit cross-legged. Keep your bottom on the floor and your hips straight. Raise one arm at a time, push your shoulders back, reach as high as you can and over to the opposite side. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lie face down. Stretch your legs back with the tops of your feet on the floor. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Push up to arch your back and look up to the ceiling. Hold there for 20 seconds, breathing freely. Gently lie face down again.
The standing bend
Stand up straight. Exhale and bend forward, bending your knees enough to put your palms flat on the floor. Straighten your legs as much as you can. Hold for 4-8 breaths. To release, bend your knees keeping your back straight, inhale and slowly stand up straight again.
The seated twist
Sit on the floor with your legs to your left. Exhale and twist your body to the right, keeping your bum on the floor. Place your left hand under your right knee and your right hand behind your right hip. Twist further. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat in reverse.