During the winter months, inactivity can take a toll on the physical and mental health of seniors. Staying active during the colder months is vital to maintaining good health. Senior living communities like Heritage offer wellness and fitness programs and we encourage community members to remain involved and engaged during the winter months. Here are six simple stretches you can do to keep moving over the cold months and avoid stiff joints and tight muscles.
1. Neck Side Stretch
This one is ideal to do each morning to loosen tension after sleeping. Start by sitting tall in a chair and gently lean your head to one side, and then to the next. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
2. Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch
Stand tall with your arms at your sides, and reach behind you with both hands. Take your hands and interlace them behind your tailbone while looking straight ahead.
3. Tricep Stretch
Sitting tall in a chair, lift your arm over your head, bending at your elbow. Reach the opposite arm up to clasp your elbow and pull gently. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then switch arms.
4. Back Stretch
Stand tall and place your hands on your hips. Gently arc backwards, looking up at the ceiling. Hold for 3 seconds, and return to standing. Repeat 10 times.
5. Ankle circles
Sit tall in a chair and extend your leg in front of you while keeping the other on the floor. Rotate your ankle 10 to 20 rotations clockwise, and repeat counter-clockwise. Repeat on your opposite leg.
6. Seated hip stretch
Sit in a sturdy chair and cross your right leg over your left, letting the right ankle sit atop your left knee. Relax your hip and hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Add these stretches into your daily routine to feel better, reduce stress and improve your mood this winter.