Whether it’s waking up stiff or you’re noticing a tightness in your joints & muscles that’s holding you back from reaching, bending or moving as easily as you used to, there’s a simple solution: stretching. A short and gentle daily routine of stretching exercises can keep you loose & limber and get you back to enjoying life pain-free. Get your stretching exercises for seniors pdf below or simply follow along with the video!
Keep reading for extra tips & what you need to know about stretching.
Follow along with this 10 minute stretching routine designed for older adults. Click play below.
Why Is Stretching Important For Older Adults?
If you struggle to put on your shoes or reach the cups on the top shelf, you already know why stretching is important as you age. Keeping your muscles loose & flexible allows you to do your daily tasks using your full range of motion. It also stops tightness from pulling your body out of alignment which is one of the major causes of pain & decreasing physical function.
A regular stretching routine helps you function better in everything you do, from picking up the mail on the floor to reaching overhead to shampoo your hair.
The top benefits of stretching exercises for seniors are:
- Improved flexibility
- Reduced stiffness in your muscles & joints
- Better circulation
- Reduced risk of muscle injury
- Reduced tension
- Improved range of motion
- Increased mobility
- Improved everyday function
How Often Should Adults 50+ Stretch?
Experts recommend that you stretch at least 2 days a week at the bare minimum. However, if you can commit to a daily stretching routine you will see even more benefits. Just 10 minutes a day is all you need! By stretching every day, you’ll also be much more likely to stick with it because it will become a daily habit.
When Should You Stretch?
There are 2 types of stretching:
- Stretching to prepare & recover from a workout
- Stretching routines that focus on improving how your body functions day to day
For working out & physical activities, it’s recommended that you do a gentle warm up then stretch before beginning your activity to loosen up your muscles. You should also stretch again after you finish your activity to prevent stiffness & improve your range of motion.
For those doing a stretching routine (which is what we’re focusing on), the truth is you can do your stretches whenever is convenient for you. If you wake up stiff & sore, doing your stretching routine first thing might be best for you. Maybe creating an after-lunch routine will help you stick with it. Or, you might find you enjoy the relaxing nature of a good stretch right before bed.
The most important thing is to be consistent…
What Is The Easiest Way To Make Stretching A Part Of Your Daily Routine?
To see long-lasting improvements to your range-of-motion & flexibility the best thing you can do is make stretching part of your daily routine. By committing to it every day, you’re not just getting momentary relief—you’ll actually create more elasticity that prevents stiffness from happening in the first place.
Here are a few tips to make stretching a daily habit:
- Do it first thing in the morning before tasks, obligations & all those little moments of busyness get in the way.
- Do it early in the day—often people have the most energy in the morning after getting a night of rest, so plan to do it then before your energy & motivation disappears.
- Stay consistent. Pick a time that works for you and do it every day. Soon, it will become a habit that you do without having to even think about or force yourself to do.
- Use a stretching program. Having someone to follow along with takes out the “work” of figuring out what to do & when, making you much more likely to actually do it.
- Don’t do too much. If you overcommit, you’ll lose motivation. All you need is 10 minutes of consistent, daily stretching to see improvements in your life.
Looking for more motivation tips? Read “7 Fitness Tips For Seniors That Will Skyrocket Your Motivation”
Stretching Tips For Seniors
- Don’t bounce while you stretch as it will increase your risk of an injury
- Don’t stretch to the point of pain, only until you feel tension
- Try yoga—it’s a great way to improve strength, flexibility & range-of-motion
- Follow along with a guided program to make sure you’re doing it properly
Here is the Stretching Exercises For Seniors PDF for you to follow along with – click to download below.
Try The Full 7 Day Stretching Program
This PDF is just Day 1 of the 7 Day “Energy Boosting Morning Stretches” program by Better5. It’s a great starting point to get your body loose & limber. For even more variation, you can get the full 7 day program here.
Having a different routine each day of the week helps keep it interesting & makes it easy to create a schedule. There’s a stretching routine for each day of the week!