Stretch. Stretch. Stretch: don’t let your muscles forget what they do.
Age-defying ways to tone waning muscle mass and keep those limbs limber, in just 10 minutes a day.

I think we can all agree that there is no way to stop ourselves from aging (unless we are Benjamin Button, of course) and though we may not be able to stop the number from going up year after year, we can do many things to keep ourselves as healthy as possible. Eating right, exercising, and keeping our minds busy are all great ways to help us to continue feeling healthy and energetic as we age. One common challenge however is losing muscle strength and the ability to keep mobile. The average person loses 12-15% muscle mass after the age of 50; however there are steps that can be taken to ensure you keep in shape and remain limber. 

Taking a few minutes out of each day to do some stretches will have many positive benefits for your body and your mind. Some of the benefits include:

·         Arthritis and back pain reduction

·         Improving posture 

·         Increasing blood flow 

·         Relieving stress and calming your mind

·         Reducing the risk of falling

Every year, one out of three older adults will experience a fall that will cause them to require emergency treatment. With these numbers, you can see the importance of doing what you can to keep your balance, ensuring your mobility and reducing the risk of a fall that may cause serious injuries. Research has shown that stretching and exercising regularly is vital in order to have adequate balance and prevent falls. Here are some stretches that you can start doing in the comfort of your home to improve your balance and stability.

Standing Calf Stretch

Stretching out your calf muscles will help to keep them lose and keep your knees aligned. You can do this stretch by standing straight and bringing one leg behind you. Bend your front leg forward and place your hands on your knee to help with stability. Keep your back heel down and make sure that your torso stays squared with your shoulders and your hips. Hold then switch to your other leg.

Hip Stretch

Keeping these muscles loose will ensure that your pelvis stays stabilized when you walk. After the calf stretch, bring your back knee down onto the floor and keep your hips forward and your spine straight. Put your hands over the knee of your forward leg, hold and then switch to your other leg.

Hamstring Stretch

This stretch will help your circulation while also helping your balance and strength. Lie on your back with one leg flat on the floor and the other extended up towards the ceiling. Grab behind the lifted leg with both hands and gently pull it towards your body. Hold then switch legs.

Quad Stretch

This stretch will help to prevent injuries to your lower back and your knees. Stand with your legs hip-distance apart and bend one knee up then reach back to grab your foot. Hold it and then switch to the other leg.

Give these stretches a try to keep healthy and mobile. Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you need to give up on living the life you want.