Read on here what Is the impact of age on flexibility, can you regain flexibility after 50 (60 or even 65), & how to stay flexible as you age.
What Is the Impact Of Age On Flexibility?
As your body gets older, you lose flexibility because of the natural aging processes. That happens for many reasons, such as loss of water in your tissues and spine, enhanced tightness in your joints, and loss of elasticity throughout the muscle tendons and surrounding tissues.
Reduced flexibility within your body adversely impacts your day-to-day life routine by precluding you from functioning normally. Due to this, it is pretty common for many persons to cut back their physical activities as they no longer feel flexible enough to carry out activities they once enjoyed.
Furthermore, this kind of self-limitation can cause a more significant loss of functional ability & flexibility. Your body operates under a doctrine known as “Use It or Lose It” in the fitness world. If you don’t use your muscles, you tend to lose the strength of the muscles. If you lose muscles strength, you won’t move them as often and not be able to take them through their full range of motion to sustain/maintain their length, which will further result in a decline in flexibility.
[Read: Why Flexibility Is Important As You Age]
Can You Regain Flexibility After 50 (60 or Even 65)?
However, we have good news for you. As a human being, you can slow down or even reverse some of these changes in your body! So, though we cannot avoid some loss of flexibility, there are ways to control such losses.
How To Stay Flexible As You Age?
The most crucial step to be more flexible as you get older is to keep yourself physically active! The fitness experts recommend that stretching exercises are most beneficial to maintain & increase our flexibility before starting our main workout sessions.
Stretching exercises not only help improve flexibility but also maintain & increase the range of motion of various joints (neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle).
There is no such thing that one stretch fit for all. There are many variations. You will have to pay close attention to your body and see which works best for you.
Regaining flexibility takes time. So make sure to go slowly. Over time your flexibility will improve, and you’ll be able to reach farther with the same stretch. At this time, you may add different stretches for the same muscle to have more significant improvement.
Regular physical activity not only helps in preventing/reducing the loss of flexibility as we age, but it also provides several other benefits for our general health, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and physical disabilities.
[Read: Stretching Guidelines & Tips For Flexibility]
Following are other necessary steps to keep in mind:
(i) Warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes by walking or jogging in place to prepare your heart, muscles, and joints before the main exercise session.
(ii) Keep your movements gentle & smooth. Never bounce, jerk or force in any other way to get a deeper stretch.
(iii) Never lock your joints. Your legs & arms can be straight during stretching, but they shouldn’t be locked & stiff.
(iv) Keep breathing normally. As you do stretching exercises, your breathing should be slow and steady.
(v) How often do you need to stretch to maintain flexibility?
The best is to aim for stretching every day. Try for 15 to 20 minutes per day, at least 3-4 times per week.
A must watch VIDEO to help you keep your BONES STRONG AS YOU Age:
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”