When you watch flexibility workout videos on the internet, how do you react to them? Some women would say “oh I bet I can’t do that. I’d break a bone if I do!” or do you say “Is there anything lighter than that? I’m not flexible enough to do it!” Flexibility has always been one of the concerns of many. Most of us are afraid and doubt ourselves if we can still do as what the exercise videos promise. But what’s the truth really? Can we still be flexible after 50? And, is it important to be flexible?
Age and Flexibility
So, if you’re asking if it’s possible to become flexible in our age, the answer is a big YES! As we age, our bodies tend to degenerate. We lose our skin’s elasticity, muscle tone and. Also, the water content in our tendons is lesser than we were younger. As a result, our tendons get stiffer. All these can contribute to the natural decrease of our flexibility.
The most common areas affected with decreased flexibility are the shoulders and the hips. Some other parts of the body affected by the changes would include the spine, neck, knees, ankles and any part of the body that has joints. As a result, you will feel aches and pains.
However, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to become flexible during our fifties, because no matter what stage we are in life, there is always a room for improvement! Stretching for flexibility can be achieved at any age. We just need to work harder and more carefully.
Importance of Flexibility
It is important to be flexible, especially during our age, because we want to avoid injury. But, there are other good reasons why you should practice any type of flexibility workout too!
- Reduce risks for injury, like fractures and muscle tearing
- Decrease muscle soreness
- Maintain good posture and balance
- Improve physical performance
- Increase range of motion
- Reduce pain in the lower back and joints
Internally, a flexibility workout routine can help promote blood circulation, to the brain, heart, limbs and practically all parts of your body. Because it's not only about the movements of the body parts you see outside, when you work out. Your systems inside are moving too! Your lymphatic system works better due to your physical movements. As a result, your body gets the chance to have a better fluid drainage.
Ways to Increase Flexibility
So what flexibility workout can we do best during our age? Well, experts suggest that simple stretching techniques are best to help us ease into our workout routines and become more flexible. Here are some things we can do!
Ease Muscle Tension with Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a very easy way to stretch for flexibility. This activity helps you by easing the muscle tension. As a result, it will be easier for you to move as your muscles are now “open” and more free to move. This activity is great to do before or after your workout routines.
It is also a great exercise for us in the menopause age. Read about our article on Foam Rolling and discover how simple routines can help you throughout the day!
Yoga is great way to train your body to become more flexible. But, if you are not yet confident enough to engage in advanced yoga, there is a lighter option which is the Yin Yoga Poses. It's also a type of yoga, but it involves slower routines that are easier to follow. As you do yoga, you can also practice meditation and proper breathing techniques at the same time.
You can also find more articles about YOGA from our posts on exercises for menopause age! Check them HERE.
Follow Flexibility Workout Routines
Fitness instructor, Margie Weiss, helps us with 2 types of stretches that are great for our back health and back strength! Check this out. (4.27 minutes)
Participate in a Flexibility Challenge!
Participating in a challenge will add to the level of motivation. In that case, you will love doing the activity more. It will be easier to do as well, because you become more interested and attentive. FitnessBlender has a free 3-day flexibility challenge that you will love! Check out Day 1 of the full body stretches for flexibility in the video below. (31.15 minutes)
If you are done with the day, come back tomorrow for the Flexibility Challenge Day 2! It's merged with Pilates techniques both for toning and flexibility workout. The Flexibility Challenge Day 3 will help you with static stretches. So, bookmark this page so you can come back for the techniques anytime you want.
More Stretches for Flexibility to Follow
There are other flexibility workout routines as well for specific parts of the body. Debra Atkinson, the Voice of Fitness, the host of The Well U After 50 podcast and author of the book You Still Got it Girl! has a lot of videos for flexibility after 50. We think you'll enjoy her easy instructions and doable routines! Check these out.
Simple Back Flexibility Workout
The routine in the video below allows movements for the upper back, middle back, lower back and for the hips as well. Check this out. (1.14 minutes)
Spinal Mobility on All Fours
In this video, Debra shows a cat-cow back routine that gives great mobility for the upper and lower back and for the hips as well! (3.29 minutes)
We spend a lot of time sitting at work, but even at home and our backs are strained too. Because of that, our backs tend to become stiff or tensed and less flexible. The hamstrings flexibility routine helps us relieve back tension and increase flexibility. (2.37 minutes)
With this routine, you can simply use a towel. Or you can get stretch resistance bands too. Here's one that you may like:
This set is ideal for physical therapy rehabilitation (rehab bands), weight loss, pilates and stretching, muscle toning and strengthening.
- Made from durable and good quality material
- Very light and compact to travel
- adjustable bands and versatile for different kinds of workout.
But, if you aren't completely satisfied with the product, you have the privilege to a lifetime refund!
You can find more resistance bands HERE too!
Tips to Remember
- Always remember to breathe as your do your flexibility workout.
- Don't rush when you do stretches for flexibility. You can take your time to ease the tension until your joints feel free or loose.
- Avoid pushing yourself too far to avoid injury.
- Don't be frustrated if you can't do everything on the first time. The changes will not happen overnight, but you can do it slowly but surely.
- Be confident that you can see improvements and you'll be proud of yourself.
In conclusion, everything actually works. Even your slightest movements can help you become more flexible. There’s only one thing we know that doesn’t work and that is doing nothing. So what are you waiting for? Ease your fears, start stretching and be surprised at how flexible you can become! And remember, age is only a number!
What flexibility workout have you done? Share with us your routines in the comments below!
- Shepard, Roy J. “Aging and Exercise”
- Kravitz, L. and Heyward, V. “Flexibility Training”
- Stahokostas, L. et al “Flexibility of Older Adults Aged 55-86 Years and the Influence of Physical Activity”