Exercises to Keep You Loose and Limber
It’s important to stay active as we age, but sometimes that becomes a little more difficult than we anticipated. Why? Usually it is because we lose some of our natural flexibility, and we become a little bit tight and stiff as the years tick by. In order to keep your body healthy and your muscles and joints loose, limber, and pain free, check out these exercises designed to help you keep your range of motion.
Walking is a great way to stay active. For older adults, this is one way to increase activity without too much wear and tear, and it can also help you keep your range of motion. While this might not be the best flexibility building exercise, it can absolutely keep the basics moving. For your arms, legs, hips, and knees, walking can help to maintain the range of motion, or at the very least, keep it from deteriorating as the years go by.
Yoga is known for its ability to increase your flexibility. Through a series of stretches done in a particular order, yoga can maintain and even increase the range of motion for multiple parts of your body. In fact, you’ll likely work muscles in your body that you didn’t even know you had. To join a yoga class, check your local gym, and always look for a certified teacher in order to gain the benefits and avoid injury.
The great thing about swimming...or really any activity in the water...is that the buoyancy of the water takes weight and pressure off of your joints. This is why it’s a great way to increase your natural range of motion. What might hurt on dry land may not hurt when done in the water. For this same reason, it’s important not to push too hard so that you don’t injure yourself by doing a move that you are not quite ready for.
You can’t really talk about staying loose and limber without mentioning stretching. Stretching is more than just a natural reaction that happens first thing in the morning. It can be a routine that builds muscle, increases flexibility, and pulls oxygen to your muscles. Make sure that you stretch your large muscle groups often (think quads, back, glutes), but also make time to stretch those little muscles occasionally as well.
Staying flexible can make all the difference when you’re trying to stay mobile and active. Use these moves to keep your range of motion so that you can stay healthy and active for many years. You’ll be glad that you gave some attention to your joints when you are able to move freely and pain free for many years to come.