If you’ve read the book, ‘Stretching’, by Bob Anderson back in the 1970s, you will probably have noticed this important statement he wrote, ‘If you stretch correctly and regularly, you’ll find that every movement you make becomes easier.’
All these years later, his quote still holds true because human anatomy hasn’t changed much. The more flexible you are, the easier your movements will be.
This is especially important when you lose the vim and vigor of youth and you’re in your senior years where even reaching for the remote seems like a feat of Olympic proportions.
Even though stretching and flexibility is of paramount importance regardless of age, most people barely give it any thought. For those who do give flexibility training some thought, there are still a lot of common mistakes made and misconceptions held that don’t carry any weight.
In this article, you’ll discover how to avoid the mistakes and understand that flexibility can be improved regardless of your age.
All levity aside, let’s look at the pertinent points below.
3 Common Misconceptions
1) You’re too old to stretch
You’re never too old to start. In fact, if you’re not flexible, it’s even more important to start despite your age. You’ll notice that as the days and weeks go by, you’ll become limber, stronger and have a better sense of balance.
There are many seniors who achieve a high level of flexibility even when they’re in their golden years. The key is consistency in training.
2) You need to already be flexible
You do not need to be a contortionist to start stretching and becoming more limber. Anyone and everyone should try to stretch daily.
3) No pain, no gain
Stretching should be done in a controlled manner that is slightly challenging but NOT painful. You just want to do your best to stretch as far as you can go without feeling pain. Flexibility training is meant to be gradual and progressive. No force or pain required. This is not a Kung Fu movie where you need to do splits and high kicks.
3 Common Mistakes
1) Only stretch the ‘tight’ muscles
One of the most common mistakes people make is to only stretch the area that is feeling tight or sore. For example, if their neck hurts, they may do neck rotations and stretches and call it a day.
Your body works in synergy. Besides stretching your neck, you also need to work on your back, shoulders and hips.
Ideally, you should focus on a series of stretches that work the entire body from head to toe.
‘Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.’ – Anonymous
Unlike cardio or resistance training, you can and should stretch daily. In fact, seniors should stretch once in the morning to get their circulation going, and once at night to be all limber and ‘loose’.
Flexibility will only improve if you do it regularly and consistently. This is the cornerstone of successful stretching.
3) Same ol’ same ol’
Many people do the same old stretching routine ad nauseum. Don’t make that mistake. Try and vary your stretches and do a few different ones every week. This will ensure that you target a wide range of muscles and it will also be more interesting.
To wrap things up, observe the points above and make stretching a priority in your life. Even 15 minutes a day can work wonders if applied consistently.
Kelvin Teo also writes at Holistic Health Methods — a health and wellness blog focusing primarily on the topics of holistic health, home remedies and alternative therapies.
He is also the founder of Simply Coffee Mugs — a site where he shares his passion for everything coffee and mugs.