When you got out of bed this morning, did your legs feel tight? Did you feel stiff and sore? If you felt that what did you do? Did you think to yourself, “oh, I’m getting old”? Or did you think to move around and loosen up your joints, muscles and connective tissue and do some stretching exercises? Perhaps you did some stretching exercises before you got out of bed to loosen up your connective tissue.
A friend recently told me that when they design in their new kitchen, they are going to make it so that the things they use less frequently will go in the bottom drawers and top cupboards, in preparation for ageing. I told her to rethink her plan! As we move through our lives, we need to give ourselves more opportunities for stretching, so store the things you use frequently (as long as they are not too heavy) to the bottom drawers and the top shelves. That way, without having to think about doing stretching exercises, you will get the benefits of flexibility without having to ‘exercise”.
If we are not careful and do not continue to take every opportunity to stretch, our flexibility can deteriorate as we age, leading to lack of strength. Sitting for long periods of time without moving can contribute to loss of flexibility and fear of falling. This loss of flexibility can make the situation worse and certainly leads to loss of confidence. If we can’t reach whatever we need in the top cupboard, we may get the steps, which increases the risk of falling when you are losing strength.