As the days get colder and winter looms near it is important for seniors to limber up as well s layer up. One of many misconceptions about seniors and exercise is that seniors should rest and avoid too much strenuous activity during the winter. This is in large part due to the increased chances seniors have of experiencing a fall during the winter time when the snow is thick and the ground can be slick. For many, the fear of falling is enough to make them go into hibernation during the winter and as a result live a much more sedentary lifestyle.
While many seniors are less capable, or find it less convenient to get good exercise during the winter, one thing they must consistently do to remain healthy is stretch. Stretching is not only a healthy practice in general but highly regarded anti-aging tip. Here are some of main benefits of stretching and how they can help seniors live healthier through the winter:
Loosens and Lengthens the Muscles
Stretching helps you maintain good balance by lengthening and loosening your muscles. Many seniors become more stiff due to less activity during the winter time and after a while this can make them more susceptible to falls. A good habit to get into is to stretch in the morning when you wake up or at the very least right before you go outside for long durations in the snow. Those who have already experienced an injury or are disabled should always use some sort of mobility aid with properly padded feet for the slick ground.
Strengthens the Immune System by Promoting Healthy Blood Flow
The variety of movements and angles in stretching helps to promote healthy blood flow to every part of your body. Getting that blood pumping and increasing circulation can be extremely beneficial to your immune system and decrease your chances of getting sick during the cold winter months. Longer, more thorough periods of stretching can even burn a decent amount of calories and serve as a subtle method of exercising.
Joint Pain Relief
Along with proper hydration, the joints need to have warm, loose muscles to support proper functioning. When the joint muscles become tight or weak it puts extra strain on the bones to support the body as you move, consequently as we get older our joints tend to ache more due to the strain put on them by the lack of proper muscle function. When you loosen up those tight muscles that support your joints, overtime you will find you can move much more smoothly and fluidly without joint pain.
Makes you more Energized and Eager to be Active
Ever notice that you always feel a little more spring after a good stretching period. Now that you’ve loosened up and got the blood pumping you feel like you are ready to do something active. AS mentioned above stretching in the morning is a good habit to get into so that you feel energized and ready to take on the day.
In addition to stretching, a healthy diet, and adequate hydration are essential for keeping you healthy through those cold winter months. Always try to find a way to remain active for a small period every day and keep that metabolism going, even if the activity is modest. Taking care of your muscles through stretching is as important during the winter as taking of your body in eating. Roll those feet out of bed, reach your hands to the ceiling and then reach down to touch your toes. Sit down on the floor, fold your leg over and stretch that stiff hip. Prepare your body for an active day and you’ll keep age and sickness away.
About the Author
Cheryl Swanson is a writer for the rollator supplier Just Walkers. As a both a writer and personal trainer to the elderly she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience to help seniors stay active on their feet.