Retaining Our Flexibility As We Get Older
Retaining Our Flexibility As We Get Older. Have you noticed that you do not seem to be as flexible as you were in your 20's, 30's or 40's? As it seemed that you are getting less flexible as you work your way thru the decades?
You are not imagining, your body does lose it's ability to be flexible as we age. You may notice that your movement is not as smooth and it takes you longer to perform certain arm or leg movements. Bending and stretching may become difficult and you may experience stiffness or a "catching" in your muscles or joints as you try to reach something on that high shelf, or pick up that piece of paper that fell on the floor.
Normal flexibility means that you can balance and complete normal daily activities with comfort. Flexibility also helps you by reducing the tension muscles can undergo with activity and can improve your coordination. It also prevents injuries and gives you a sense of "body awareness".
Flexibility can even help with good blood circulation. You can imagine then, just how important maintaining your flexibility can be. Have you ever wondered how flexibility is measured? The normal measurements of flexibility are the ability to:
Raise your arms above your head 180 degrees, Bend at your elbow 145 degrees, Bend your neck 45 degrees to each side, Arch your back at 30 degrees, Move your hips 45 degrees, Extend each knee in a straight line (0 degrees).
Flexibility can affect your joints (the connections between your bones), muscles and also your connective tissue between your joints and your muscles. Flexibility should be an important part of your exercise and fitness training on a regular basis.
The definition of having normal flexibility is: the ability of a person's body parts to bend while completing an action without breaking. As we age certain aches and pain as well as being overweight can change our activity level and the inactivity changes our collagen structures within our body.
Collagen is what binds our body parts and aids in healing broken bones and promotes wounds to heal by growing blood vessels to feed the area of injury. Collagen is the fibrous protein part of our bone, cartilage and skin and also other connective tissues in our body.
Home Exercise Program
You can begin with light physical activities. Try walking; just a walk around the block can help. You can add more distance and time as your body becomes used to the extra movement. Other forms of exercise may be golfing, tennis, gardening, and climbing stairs instead of using the elevator.
Keeping your mind sharp is another important part of healthy aging.
How to prevent or restore flexibility: If you have a sedentary job, take stretch breaks by flexing your knees, rotating your neck, rotating your shoulders, making circles with your arms and getting up and walking around the room, or if you can, take a walk outside even if it is just around the building.
Volunteer on a regular basis. Help out at a shelter or do other work to benefit charities. It improves your community and it also helps you feel useful. Plus you get to experience the joy of helping others.
Stretch before exercising to improve flexibility and warm up your muscles so that they can stretch better. Maintain proper weight for your age and height. A good diet will assure that your body cells have the nutrients they need to function properly If your healthcare professional feels that you are at risk for decreased flexibility you may be sent to a physical therapist who will measure your flexibility and show you exercises that you can do during therapy and at home to improve your flexibility.
Healthy Aging Issues Today