Five Tips For Staying Flexible As You Age

Physical therapists and physicians agree that flexibility is the key to maintaining health and fitness as you age, and that it can be an integral part of fending off medical conditions, such as arthritis. Furthermore, maintaining flexibility can prevent accidents and subsequent injuries, which pose serious risk to maintaining independence and good-health in later life.

Consider the following five strategies for maintaining flexibility as you age:

Stretch daily.

Ask any practitioner and they will tell you that stretching is the key to maintaining flexibility and range-of-motion as you age. This may be as simple as morning stretches or yoga, or it may be as in-depth as tai chi or Pilates. Make time to stretch and flex muscles in order to prevent them from becoming constricted and stiff.

Exercise to improve balance.

One of the advantages of yoga and Pilates is the improved balance that these activities provide. Good balance can make the difference between taking a nasty fall and avoiding injury.

Prevent injuries.

It is essential to implement ways to avoid injury during work-outs, while also paying attention to conditions or situations that could prove injurious at home or work. Stretch before engaging in anything strenuous, and avoid lifting or carrying heavy items when you are not conditioned to do so. Recovering from an injury can become more challenging and difficult as you grow older.

Practice coordination.

Make time to practice coordination through simple skills and leisure activities such as knitting, video games, or sports. Hand-eye coordination is connected to overall physical coordination, which can help you avoid accidental falls or subsequent injuries. Yoga is a wonderful way to practice coordination while relaxing the mind simultaneously.

See a physical therapist.

Physical therapists do far more than merely help you recover from an accident; these practitioners can provide preventative treatment, relieve pain, and supervise fitness regimens to optimize the patient's workouts. Talk with your physical therapist about suggestions for stretches and exercises that will improve flexibility and balance.

Staying flexible is not something that you can do quickly, but rather it is a long process that consists of regular activity, stretching, and exercise. A physical therapist is the ideal person to mentor and supervise individuals in fitness regimens, offering sound advice on the best, low-impact exercises for each individual based on their current strengths and weaknesses, decreasing possible injury. Talk with physical therapists about what you can do to improve flexibility and maintain health now that could have positive impacts later.