When it comes to seniors and stretching: the sky’s the limit! Numerous elderly individuals are finding a pronounced range of motion through isolated core stretches. In fact, the American Senior Communities Community has linked core stretching with “injury prevention, improving body strength, and the management and reduction of pain.”
So, if you are looking to incorporate some daily stretch time into your home workout, here are two great core stretches for senior citizens! Home care nursing can also be very beneficial for helping seniors to stay active and healthy.
This stretch is a wonderful conduit for lengthening range of motion, while also giving the abdominal wall a flexible twist.
To begin, you will want to be standing with both feet planted on the floor. Your feet should be hip width apart. Clasp both hands in front of you, with your arms parallel to the floor. Once you have assumed this position, move your arms and upper torso to the left side body. Upon reaching the left, hold this position for a breath cycle. Then you can rotate your torso in the opposite direction, bringing your arms to the right side body.
Make sure that this movement stems from the inner core, and you are not pushing past your range of motion. A great way to check in with your body is to relax your shoulders: clenching in the upper back is usually a sign that you aren’t reaping the full benefits of the core stretch. You can also ask a friend or home health aide to check your posturing!
If you’ve frequented a yoga class before, you’re probably familiar with the cat-cow! To begin, you’ll want to get on all fours. Have a friend or home health aid help you check your alignment: you are aiming to have your hands in line with your shoulders. You are also looking to have your knees in line with your hips.
Once in this table top position, you can begin the stretch! Round your shoulders, tuck the chin, and extend your back to the ceiling.
Once you have completed the “cat” component of the cat-cow, it’s time to try the “cow” variation. Drop your belly to the earth and gently curve your gaze upward. If within your range of motion, try to arch your back.
Repeat this variation for as long as you like. If you want, you can link the cat-cow with your own cycle of breath. Namely, exhaling when you enter into the “cat” pose and inhaling as you enter the “cow” variation.