About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view HealthReport's profile
    Posted January 27, 2014 by
    Stratford upon Avon, United Kingdom
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sound off

    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.

    Add your Story Add your Story