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5 Easy Morning Stretches for Older Adults

morning stretches

Older adults should endeavour to remain fit and active, as it helps maintain excellent overall well-being and keep illnesses at bay. Also, staying healthy will ensure they lead independent lives, where they can carry out their daily activities conveniently.

Stretching exercises are a great way for older adults to keep fit and healthy, bringing increased control, flexibility, and strength to their muscles and joints. Some of these stretches also help to alleviate muscle pain, joint inflammation, and swollen ankles in older people.

Indeed, stretching exercises can be performed at any time that suits the participant. However, to develop a proper routine, it’s best for your older loved ones to practice these workouts in the morning. Moreover, there is rarely a more refreshing way for them to start their day than with stretches.

At Seasons Retirement, we provide an enabling environment for older adults to engage in various healthful activities and exercises, such as pilates, yoga, and so on.

This piece will highlight some easy morning stretches that will help boost your loved one’s fitness level.

   1. Seated Knee to Chest 

The knee-to-chest routine is easily one of the best morning stretches for older people because it helps more than just the legs. This lower body stretch enhances mobility in the hips and knee while improving the lower back’s flexibility. One of the big benefits of this exercise is that your loved one doesn’t need to stand to perform it properly.

Below is how to do the knee-to-chest stretching exercise:

  • Like the standing quadriceps, you need to loosen up with a light walking exercise before getting started
  • Sit comfortably in your chair and then grasp your right knee
  • Gently and slowly pull your right knee towards your chest
  • You will feel a stretching sensation, and when you do, hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds
  • Slowly move your leg back to the floor and repeat this workout with your left leg

   2. Standing Stretches for Quadriceps

The first workout on our morning stretching routine for seniors targets the quadriceps through proper stretching. It is a vital exercise that helps older people remain flexible and mobile. 

As the name clearly suggests, the standing quadriceps stretch targets the quadriceps, which are located in the proximal half of the upper leg. Here are the steps to engage in this morning stretch exercise:

  • Loosen up and warm up before performing this activity — walking for about 2 to 5 minutes should help
  • Use an object such as a chair back to bear your weight and for additional support, as the exercise will be practiced while standing on one leg. 
  • Use your right hand to support yourself as you bend your left knee; then use your left hand to grab your left leg by the ankle
  • Gently pull your left foot up towards your buttocks and hold for up to 30 seconds
  • Release your left leg and repeat this action for your right leg

   3. Lunge in a Chair

This is an excellent exercise for the hip and promotes flexibility and muscle strength in that body region. However, it is worth noting that this exercise can be a little too complex, especially for older people.

Hence, your older relatives should only practice this exercise if it’s within their physical limits. When engaging in the lunge-in-a-chair, they should listen to their body and stop when needed. The following are steps to perform the lunge-in-a-chair stretching routine.

  • Place a couple of chairs about 1 meter apart from each other, facing the same direction
  • Next, step a few feet in front of the chair behind you and rest your shin on the seat. Your knee should extend just beyond the front edge of the chair, with your foot dangling over the back
  • Then, bend your front knee slightly while pushing your hips forward and down. Maintain this position for 10 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat this exercise for the other side of your body

   4. Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring stretch is another type of good morning stretches for older adults, and it focuses on a specific muscle group — the hamstrings. But it also stretches the lower back and helps maintain its flexibility. Most importantly, this morning stretch helps reduce stiffness in the leg, enhancing mobility in older adults.

Here is how to perform a hamstring stretch:

  • Sit on a flat and even surface
  • Stretch out one leg
  • Lean forward gradually, reaching for your ankle (though your thigh or knee will do if you are less flexible) with the corresponding hand. Note that you can decide to stop the stretch at any point to avoid hyper extending your hamstring
  • Hold for up to seconds before gently returning to your natural sitting position
  • Repeat this exercise for the alternate side

   5. Overhead Side Stretch

This exercise is one of the most effective morning stretches for the back and the upper body. Also referred to as the standing side stretch, it is an excellent way for older people to ease the abdomen, back, and shoulder muscles. Below is how to perform the overhead side stretch.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lift your arms above your head. You can interlock your fingers to prevent your hands from breaking apart during the exercise
  • Ensuring your torso is aligned, gently lean to your left
  • Hold this position for about 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat the workout for the right side of your body

Note that your older ones don’t have to perform this exercise on their feet. Older adults with mobility or health issues can complete this exercise in a chair following these steps:

  • Sit in a tall chair and maintain your hips, knees, and toes in a forward position
  • Raise your arms above your head and follow the instructions stated earlier
  • Slowly lean to either side for 10 to 30 seconds

Other examples of easy morning stretches for older people include soleus stretch, shoulder stretch, tricep stretch, standing hip flexor, and chin drop.

Final Thoughts

Above is a list of refreshing morning stretches for older adults to start their day in the best way possible. Stretching exercises can make vital additions to your loved one’s workout routine, regardless of their fitness level.

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