The Best Workout You’ll Ever Have – From Your Chair!Melanie Tawil
Life is funny and you can always make sure that aging happens. With aging comes aging bodies with joints and muscles needing some TLC. It can be as simple as starting in your chair and stretching. Movement, activity, doesn’t have to be heavy hitting of the pavement. Stretching can help you maintain strength, improving flexibility, and increased circulation and blood flow. It also allows for healthy aging.
If you can reduce lower back pain and arthritis by a simple practice in stretching, why wouldn’t you? Common in older adults, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis can easily be reduced by deteriorating cartilage between the facet joints. Overtime, pain in the lower back develops and spreads to the hips, knees, neck, fingers, and toes. While they can’t be avoided, the pain can easily be managed with a stretching/yoga practice.
Before you get nervous with that yoga word, don’t get too scared yet. You don’t have to get into the chanting or the extreme poses that you may see. And no, you don’t have to change your way of life. Yoga can be as simple as a few standing poses that you can do anywhere or while sitting.
With the new flexibility you will also see a difference in your core balance. The risk of falling becomes a major concern in older adults. Did you know that every year, one out of three older adults will fall, with 2.5 million people needing treatment in emergency facilities? Your stretching practice can help prevent against falls with flexibility in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and lower back. One of the best features of this newfound stability is your hip joint mobility will improve the more you practice.
And we all know how much we love to play our favorite game of bingo, well through time our posture can really become poor as we don’t realize our positioning. As we begin to age, our connective tissues (ligaments, tendons) decrease and this reduces our flexibility. The first place we see this is our chest and shoulders, after years of sitting hunched over and this will result in poor posture. What is poor posture? Forward head posture, rounded shoulders and upper back, and forward pressing hips. The natural S curve in our spine begins to get pushed down and this can create pain in the lower back and between the shoulder blades. But wait, there’s a way to fix this. You can still help loosen tight ligaments, tendons, and muscles to give you greater range of motion.
Don’t let exercise scare you, there is a form of movement and stretch for everyone. You just need to figure out what you like.