Table of Contents
Introduction ……. 7
Bone and Muscle Problems in the Aging Body 8
Muscle Changes ……. 8
Bone Changes .. 9
Joint Changes .. 9
How This Guide Can Help You … 10
Chapter 1 – An Overview Of Stretching The Aging Body And Basic Anatomy . 11
The 11 Major Muscle Groups ….. 11
Forearms …. 12
Triceps ……. 12
Shoulders … 12
Chest . 12
Abdominals . 13
Back .. 13
Quadriceps . 13
Hamstrings . 13
The 7 Major Joints .. 14
Spine . 14
Shoulder …. 14
Wrist . 14
Hip …. 15
Knee .. 15
Ankle . 15
Chapter 2 – Why Stretching is Beneficial to the Aging Body ….. 16
Muscles and Stretching …. 16
Bones and Stretching …… 17
Joints and Stretching……. 18
Other Health Benefits to Stretching … 19
Chapter 3 – Things to Consider Before Starting a Stretching Program .. 20
Talk to Your Doctor . 20
Find a Trainer 21
Find a Location ……. 21
Get Proper Clothing. 22
Get Some Stretching Equipment ……. 22
Chapter 4 – Types Of Stretches & Timing ….. 24
Ballistic Stretching .. 24
Active Stretching …. 24
Passive Stretching .. 25
Isometric Stretching ……. 25
Dynamic Stretching 26
PNF Stretching ……. 26
Timing of Stretches . 27
Chapter 5 – Popular Stretch Training Programs & Their Effectiveness …. 28
What is Yoga? 28
What are the Advantages of Yoga? …. 29
What are the Disadvantages of Yoga? 29
What is Pilates? …… 30
What are the Advantages of Pilates? .. 30
What are the Disadvantages of Pilates? …… 31
Chapter 6 – Common Stumbling Blocks to Stretch Training & Dangers to be Aware Of ….. 32
Lack of Time .. 32
Movement is Painful 33
Lack of Energy ……. 33
Not Warming Up ….. 34
Improper Stretches . 34
Falling .. 35
Chapter 7 –Overview of Stretch Workouts for Beginners . 36
Stretch Workout ….. 37
When to Cool Down 38
Chapter 8 – Sample Stretch Workouts .. 40
Biceps .. 40
Shoulder ……. 41
Trapezius …… 41
Chest … 41
Abdominals … 41
Back ….. 41
Quadriceps …. 42
Hamstrings …. 42
Calves .. 42
Targeting Muscle Groups .. 42
Targeting Joints …… 43
Chapter 9 – Tools/Resources/Apps to Help with Staying Limber into Older Age .. 44
Foam Roller … 44
Lacrosse Ball .. 45
Rope …. 45
Classes . 46
Personal Trainer/Physical Therapist … 46
Apps ….. 46
Conclusion – Tips to Add Stretching into Your Daily Life Long- term ……. 48
Set a Schedule ……. 49
Use Family and Friends …. 50
Join an Online Community ……. 50
Post a Calendar …… 51
Reward Yourself ….. 51
Bonus Chapter – Advanced Stretch Workouts 53
Yoga Poses …. 53
Pilates .. 54
Active Stretching …. 54
Dynamic Stretching 55
Using Tools …. 55
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Chapter 2 – Why Stretching is Beneficial to the Aging Body
As we discussed before, there are a number of problems with our joints, muscles, and bones that we face as our body ages. Fortunately, there is something that we can do about it, and that is stretching. Stretching along with other physical activities can help to prevent or even reverse many of the problems we discussed before.
Muscles and Stretching
When you’re not using your muscles enough, they can become stiff which leads to painful movements. By regularly stretching, you can keep your muscles from getting stiff and improve their elasticity. The more elastic your muscles are, the less pain you will experience when you go about your day and the more you will be able to do.
Another benefit to regularly stretching your aging muscles is that it will improve your balance. This is because when your muscles are regularly stretched, they can respond better to movements which helps you stay balanced. This will not only allow you to be more confident when doing other exercises, but will help prevent falls which are especially dangerous for the aging body.
Bones and Stretching
While stretching itself doesn’t contribute to strengthening your bones, a number of exercises do, including walking, which you need to do before each stretching session to warm your muscles up. If you have specific concerns about bone loss, you will want to make sure you are doing some simple exercises that can build up bone mass in addition to stretching exercises.
Additionally, by stretching regularly, you will build up range of motion in your joints and better muscle flexibility which will help you more easily do the exercises that you need to do to improve your bone health. As your muscles move and get stronger during exercise, your bones will regain the bone density that was lost as you got older.
Joints and Stretching
Stretching can help make your joints more flexible, which is important for aging bodies since joints tend to get stiffer with age and lose flexibility. With greater flexibility, you have better range of motion. This can help eliminate movements that were previously painful, including a number of types of exercise along with daily activities.
Another benefit stretching provides in the joints is the stretching of tendons. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones and can get stiff and shorten over time if they are not used. The best way to loosen and lengthen your tendons to get your joints moving well again is by regularly stretching.
The other part of joints are the ligaments that hold bones together. These are supposed to be tough and not very flexible because they provide stability in the joint. However, with age, they can become too stiff, so stretching will help to get them back to where they’re supposed to be so rather than restricting your movements, they stabilize your joints and allow you to move freely.
Other Health Benefits to Stretching
There are so many other health benefits to stretching, such as helping you to relax, improving your posture, increasing endurance and energy levels, promoting blood circulation, and reducing cholesterol. Keep reading through this course to find out more about how to stretch your aging body to improve your health.
Chapter 3 – Things to Consider Before Starting a Stretching Program
Before you start a stretching program, it’s important that you do these things first. Even though it may seem like a simple thing to begin stretching regularly, if you are not properly prepared, you have a much higher risk of injury. Preparation will also help you know exactly what you are getting into so you can stick with the program you decide on.
Talk to Your Doctor
Talking to your doctor about your current health is the most important thing that you can do before starting a stretching program. They will be able to tell you what areas you need to focus on and how often you should stretch to safely improve your health. If you have problems with your bones or heart, they may also start you on medications or supplements.
Find a Trainer
If you are new to stretching or your doctor recommends that you work with somebody to focus on specific problems, then you will need to find a trainer. For general help with stretching, you may be able to attend classes or find someone through a local gym.
However, if you have physical limitations, you may need to find a physical therapist to help you.
Find a Location
It’s best to find a place where you can do your stretching exercises most easily and effectively. You may choose to do this at home, a gym, or your local community center. Since some stretches require some additional equipment, you’ll need to make sure you have access to these wherever you are. Many community centers will have small workout centers that are perfect for performing exercises, and they are usually much more affordable than gyms.
Get Proper Clothing
Wearing the right clothing can help you stretch much more easily, but it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or too expensive, so don’t worry. You simply want to wear clothing that won’t restrict your movements in any way. This can be tight-fitting clothes like spandex or yoga pants, but it can also be loose-fitting sweatpants if that’s more your style.
Get Some Stretching Equipment
You can do many stretches without equipment, but having some basic pieces of equipment will make some stretches easier and safer for your aging body. Stretch bands or resistance bands are great for making many stretches easier and more intense. An incline board provides you with an angled surface for various leg stretches, and a yoga mat is the best way to cushion your body when doing any stretches from the floor.
There are also a number of different machines designed specifically for stretching. These are a great way to get started because they force you to do the stretch properly which helps prevent injury and improve the effectiveness of the stretch.
Unfortunately, these are generally fairly expensive, so if you can find a gym that has them, that is generally a better option.Other Details
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