What do you think about when you hear the terms “stretching” or “flexibility?” Often, these phrases bring images to mind of super fit people demonstrating fancy yoga poses.
One thing to remember is that people of all different ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels can benefit from flexibility.
Why we lose flexibility with age and what we can do about it
We all want to be able to get on the floor or chase our grandchildren without being in pain. Unfortunately with age, we gradually lose the ability to move our joints as we did when we were younger.
These changes in our joints are just part of the ageing process. Deterioration in cartilage, ligaments, tendons and a reduction in fluid within the joint (synovial fluid) along with tightening and dysfunction of muscles surrounding the joint. These are just a few causes as to why this decline happens.
The good news is that the changes we are experiencing can be slowed down. However, to be able to move freely, stretching and flexibility exercises are a must.
Most daily functional movements involve multiple joints. If we want to maintain the ability to function as normal as we age, it is really important to maintain flexibility of our joints. Flexibility refers to how much a joint can move through a normal range of motion while being comfortable and pain-free. It might be that you just want to be able to bend down and put your socks on with ease, or reach up to a high cupboard without any pain.
Although some people are more flexible than others, flexibility is something that can be improved. Any reputable exercise class should always include some safe stretching and flexibility exercises.
Benefits of maintaining flexibility as we age
Firstly it can improve your posture and your balance. Being more flexible can also help to decrease the risk of injuries. Stretching can help in decreasing tension and stress, resulting in a positive mindset, relaxed body and feeling good!
Although research shows as we age we naturally lose some of our flexibility, however we also know that we can still maintain the ability to move our joints more freely by being less sedentary and doing more exercise.
It's never too late to start to regain your flexibility, why not come and try one of my online or face to face group exercise classes. Together we can gently loosen up any painful niggles that come with tight muscles and stiff joints.
If you'd like to have a chat and find a class to suit you, fill in the form on the link below