How to Stay Limber After 50
If you’re over 50, it’s safe to say you’re not as flexible as you once were. But, did you know you don’t have to lose your flexibility as you age? If you believe you’re doomed to stiffness and pain as you age, forget that myth. It’s possible to stay flexible. What’s more, there are a few simple things you can do at any age to become more limber and get your flexibility back. Here’s how.
Why Flexibility Typically Declines as we Age
The old adage “use it or lose it” is true in this case. Whether it’s the busyness of daily life or a lack of understanding about how vital stretching is, for whatever reason, many people don’t stretch. And if you’re not stretching and staying in motion as you age, you can even stop using some muscles altogether. If you stop stretching and moving muscles, eventually, they’ll become “locked”, or in other words, unable to move.
When you see an elderly person gingerly walking with small steps or unable to fully extend her arm to get something from the top of a cabinet, this is likely the reason. Here’s the good news. That doesn’t have to be your reality. With a regular stretching routine, you can stay limber as you age. Any type of stretching will be beneficial, but when you add a hot tub or sauna to the routine, you’ll be astounded by the results.
When you climb into your hot tub for a soak in the warm water, you’re probably just enjoying the relaxing experience, unaware of what’s going on inside your body. The heat of the water increases circulation and that increase in blood flow makes your joints more flexible. Plus, the heat helps to ease any pain and stiffness you might be feeling. This means warming up your muscles by soaking in your hot tub before stretching will help you get a better, more effective stretch. For even better results, you can stretch right in your spa! For some ideas, try these hot tub stretches recommended by Hot Spring® Spas.
Like soaking in a hot tub, sauna bathing warms up your muscles and makes you more flexible. The heat penetrates deep into muscles and the increased blood flow limbers up both your muscles and joints. Whether you stretch after your sauna bath or during, you’ll see impressive results. In fact, one study found that stretching in a sauna led to a 205% improvement in flexibility!
Research shows that adding heat to your stretching regimen will help you stay limber as you age. Whether you love hot-tubbing or sauna-bathing (or both!), this is one major way your favorite relaxing activity can be a vital component that helps you stay young, no matter what the age on your driver’s license says!