- Posted January 27, 2014 by
Stratford upon Avon, United Kingdom
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Is Stretching essential for the over 40s to stay healthy?
People's medical needs begin to change as they get older, and turning 50
is a major milestone for everyone. People that are over 50 should consider
modifying their fitness routines in order to decrease their odds of
developing certain age-related health conditions. Exercise routines like
stretching will help people over 50 maintain and even improve their
physical fitness levels in a way that is difficult to replicate with any
other lifestyle habit. Even performing relatively short stretching
sessions on a regular basis can have tremendous health benefits,
particularly for older people.
People interested in stretching can try everything from regular yoga
classes to different types of Chinese mobility techniques, and explore the
different possibilities with stretching. Stretching has numerous health
benefits at any age. People experience improvements in their blood
circulation when they add stretching to their fitness regimens.
However, stretching has some unique health benefits for people over 50
which relate to the consequences of the aging process. Muscle mass and
function begins to gradually decline for everyone after their thirtieth
birthdays, so people over 50 will have experienced a notable reduction in
their earlier levels of flexibility and strength. As a result, people in
that age group are at an increased risk of accidents related to their
joints or muscles. Muscle loss only continues to get worse with age
Many people over 50 that stretch can become more flexible, thus
decreasing the likelihood that they'll experience any muscle-related
injuries. Joint problems, particularly around the knees, also tend to get
worse with age. People that regularly do stretching exercises in their
legs will often experience less joint pain than those that do not. Chronic
joint pain can be extremely difficult to live with, so people that are
able to prevent or reduce joint pain will have happier lives in general.
People over 50 are also at a greater risk of back problems than younger
people. Regular stretching can help tone the muscles in the lower back
area, which can help people cope with back problems and decrease back
pain. People with back problems often try walking as a therapeutic form of
exercise, and if those people do stretching as well as walking, they will
make even more progress. Stretching has many other fitness benefits for
people over 50, partly due to its broader role within physical
People that stretch may find that it's physically easier to do other forms of exercises, each with their own sets of related health benefits. Many people find that exercise starts to become more difficult with age, which can cause peopleto reduce their levels of physical activity and make many of the underlying problems worse in the long run. People that don't exercise will lose more muscle mass at an accelerated rate, thus worsening all of the other problems associated with a decrease in muscle mass. People that stretch, on the other hand, will often remain physically active, holding back some of the inevitable age-related muscle mass decline.