5 Areas Where Older Adults Need to Stay Flexible

Strength and flexibility tend to wane as humans get older. You can continue working out to try and counteract that as you get into your Golden Years. In this article, we’ll talk about some body parts that you need to try and keep in good shape if you hope to stay mobile as you age. Mobility will help you do things like walk around the neighborhood, drive to the grocery store, keep up with your grandkids, etc.

The Hips

Hip strength for the elderly matters quite a lot. If you experience hip pain or tightness as you age, that could mean you need to develop a workout routine to help you with that. You might look into yoga classes that can show you some hip strengthening and loosening exercises. Yoga may intimidate you if you’ve never tried it before, but it’s great for the joints.

It’s also excellent for calming your mind since you usually do guided meditation as part of it. You can also look into exercise classes at the YMCA, or you can join a gym and work with a personal trainer. They can show you some hip strength and flexibility exercises that cater to your specific condition. If they demonstrate one exercise move that’s causing pain, you can tell them about it, and they can show you other options or adjustments that work better for you.

The Knees

Older individuals often experience knee pain or stiffness as well. You can try yoga for knee pain or look up some online videos that will show you some exercises to do. You might also look into physical therapy if the first two options don’t seem to work for you. Some older adults get knee replacements. It is not easy to come back from those, but you can do it if you work hard. Doctors recommend knee replacements a lot, especially for individuals who have struggled with weight issues during their life.

The doctor might recommend that you lose weight along with a single or double knee replacement. Heavier individuals are not the only ones who get knee replacements, though. You might need one if you saw active duty in the military and sustained an injury. A doctor may replace your knees if you’ve run a lot during your life and they’ve experienced some wear and tear.

The Back

Back problems are very common with older adults or even younger ones. You might have a doctor tell you to watch your posture, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. You may have a job where you sit in a chair and work at a computer for many hours every day.

Poor posture can harm you if you live this way.You can do the things we mentioned to try and find exercises that work for you. Yoga, getting a personal trainer, or talking with a physical therapist and learning an exercise routine from them are all options.

You might also look into injections for pain management if your back gets too bad. If you have disk compression or fragmentation, that’s sometimes a possibility.

Back surgery is not inconceivable for older adults, but most doctors try and avoid that if they can. Back surgeries are notorious for their failure rate. You might get one that leaves you in worse condition than before you got it.

Usually, with back problems, you can help the issue by finding the proper workout routine and using pain meds. You can use cold compresses and heat wraps as well. You can find them for sale on Amazon or at brick-and-mortar store locations like a Walmart or Target. With back issues, you should not lift heavy objects at all.

It’s easy to forget about that part as you get older. You might stubbornly want to keep heavy things like you did as a younger person. Try to put your pride aside, though. Throwing your back out by lifting something heavy can have serious consequences if you have recurrent back pain.

The Neck

It’s common to experience joint problems as you age, and the neck is another area where you might deal with chronic pain or stiffness. You can look for yoga exercises to help you with that, or you can get a personal trainer to give you some workout tips. Martial arts can also sometimes help with neck problems.

Tai Chi, in particular, can help the neck. You might also look into Tai Kwon Do or Karate. You can sometimes find a doctor to give you painkilling injections, or you can fight the pain and stiffness with over-the-counter painkilling drugs like Tylenol or Aspirin. If you take Tylenol, you should try to ingest it along with food, or it can irritate your stomach. You can also modify how you sleep.

If you sleep on your stomach, that’s the worst possible position for neck pain. If you sleep on your back, you might snore more easily, but it’s better on the neck. Side sleeping is also better than stomach sleeping, though adjusting might take some time.

The Wrists

You can sometimes experience wrist pain as an older adult. You might need to wear a brace if that happens. You may deal with carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if you worked at a computer a lot during your professional life. You can find out about wrist exercises from a yoga instructor, personal trainer, or doctor. You might do them every day to try and keep the wrists loose.

You can also look at wrist surgery as a possibility sometimes. Like back surgery, a doctor will only agree to do it they genuinely feel it can do you some good. If not, they’ll want to stay away from that. When you get older, some doctors will tell you that you’re in “use it or lose it” territory with various body parts. If you do exercises and force yourself to use that body part, it might hurt, but at least it will not atrophy.

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