“Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with relative ease. To get out of bed … or sweep the floor, we need flexibility … Staying active and stretching regularly helps prevent this loss of mobility, which ensures independence as we age. Being flexible significantly reduces the chance of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain.”
When you got out of bed this morning, did your legs feel tight? Did you feel stiff and sore? If that was the case, 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. If so, then well done you. Your day is off to a great start!.
A friend recently told me that when they design 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 my suggestion is to store the things you use frequently (as long as they are not too heavy) in the bottom drawers and the top shelves. That way, you will be increasing your flexibility on an everyday basis without even having to think about it.
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 and making us more prone to limited movement and injury. 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 step ladder, which increases the risk of falling when you are losing strength. Preventative measures can go along way toward maintaining your health and quality of life.