Yoga Style Stretching for Feeling Good
Stretching is one of the most instantly rewarding exercise routines that seniors can do. It increases muscle flexibility which results in a decreased likelihood of injury, better muscle performance, and a feeling of well-being that follows for hours after you’ve finished.
When the body doesn’t move, it only gets weaker. Muscles get smaller and even basic movements become impossible. Add that to
some senior citizens suffer on a daily basis. But when stretching is added to your life, you’ll feel better and joint problems will improve greatly.
Immobility only promotes weak joints and stiff muscles. Untrained muscles shrink gradually over time to the point where basic tasks become impossible. Small aches and pains become more noticeable and prominent in the body of someone with small, weak muscles and joints. To avoid this becoming the story of your daily suffering you should follow a gentle stretching for seniors routine beginning today.
In addition, stretching for seniors can improve blood circulation which promotes a
. It can also reduce symptoms of diseases which attacks joints and muscles while also being beneficial for depression and an overall feeling of wellbeing. Besides, senior stretching can be a lot of fun.
Seniors can do this alone at home or join the gym and take some stretch, Yoga or Pilates classes. To begin, you only need five or ten stretches to focus on each day and in no time you will feel better and want to do more. These are just a few of the rewarding results.
- Elongation of Muscle
- Increase in Strength of Muscle
- Improvement in Weight Control & Exercise
- Decompression of Joints
- Decreased Chronic Pain
- Increase In Normal Sleep
A FEW GUIDELINES
- Never bounce into a position -- make slow, steady movements to help your muscles elongate naturally.
- Slowly get into the desired position, as far as possible without pain, and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Relax, then repeat, trying to reach farther.
- If you can't do endurance or strength exercises for any reason, and stretching exercises are the only kind you are able to do, do them at least 3 times a week, for at least 20 minutes each session.
Mild discomfort or a mild pulling sensation is normal, but you should never feel pain, especially joint pain. If you feel pain, you are probably going beyond your level of ability and should back off a little.
We often think of
as a body contorting exercise suited to the young and athletic. For seniors, the opposite is true. Entry level Yoga designed for seniors has become very popular and beneficial.The wonderful thing about Yoga is that it is not just physical exercise but a whole person experience.
Mind, Body, and Spirit
: Those who practice Yoga in its purest form view it as much more than just a form of exercise. It is considered a holistic experience which rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit. The practice is calming and provides a rare opportunity in our chaotic lives to leave the outside world behind and be at peace, with a focus only on our physical, mental, and spiritual selves.
Mindful Breathing: As we age, we stop breathing fully. Yoga reminds us that it is important to exhale as fully as we inhale. As we grow older, we lose flexibility in our ribcage, and sometimes suffer from spinal deformities, creating less room for lung expansion. Mindful breathing takes into consideration the three purposes of breathing: replenishing, warming, and cleansing. Focusing on full inhalations and exhalations serves to slow down the heart rate which, in turn, improves focus and increases concentration.
Yoga Posture or Pose (Asana): The final positioning of a pose is achieved when all body parts are positioned correctly and mindfully. The goal of the positioning of a pose is that a balance is realized between each side of the body and that no undue stress is placed on any particular organ, muscle, joint or bones.
The best and safest way to get into yoga is with a qualified instructor. There is also a tremendous amount of information in books, DVD's and the internet on yoga for seniors.
Although the Pilates system is a commercial enterprise the basic principles are admirable and make it unique in the fitness world. It is a great discipline for seniors looking for an exercise program.Pilates promoters sell equipment to use in the practices but many exercises can be done with just a mat.
The six basic principles of Pilates are Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow.
Pilates exercise dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen.
Pilates teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. It improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.
A miracle? Not really. Developed from the rehabilitation techniques of Joseph Pilates, It is a safe, sensible exercise system using a floor mat or equipment, that will help you look and feel your very best. No matter your age or condition, it will work for you.
Pilates develops a strong "core" or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles, and the muscles closest to the spine. The exercises develop core control, integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
- Builds strength without "bulking up"
- Increases flexibility and agility
- Develops optimal core control
- Creates flat abdominals, slender thighs and a strong back
- Is a refreshing mind-body workout
- Is challenging yet safe
Of all the exercises you can choose from, stretching will give you the most immediate reward of feeling good. Do it regularly and you will continue to feel better after every session. And remember; All these benefits for seniors also contribute to alleviating depression and promote the production of serotonin, which provides an overall feeling of wellbeing.
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