When you were younger, did a teacher ever tell you to sit up straight? It turns out that’s good advice in your golden years, too! Posture is more important to your health than you might realize. Read on to learn why, and how posture exercises for seniors can help.
Posture Exercises for Seniors
You may have noticed that maintaining your posture has gotten a little more challenging since you became a senior. You aren’t alone! At the age of 30, most people begin to notice posture issues, including slumping, leaning, and even losing inches of height. Alterations in posture are a natural part of the aging process.
Why Is My Posture Changing?
As we age, our muscles and skeletons begin to change. You will notice the most significant changes in your spine. This is because the discs and vertebrae in your back degrade over time, losing their ability to stretch and move as easily. In addition to this, our muscles also become weaker as we age. As a result, it becomes more difficult for your body to hold itself upright. This is also why most seniors become shorter as time goes by.
Changes in posture are to be expected and aren’t necessarily an urgent medical issue. However, it still benefits seniors to be aware of their posture and work to improve it. Bad posture can make common health issues for seniors more dangerous. For example, bad posture can combine with balance issues to make you even more prone to falls and accidents. Good posture can help relieve back problems and circulation problems. It can even help you avoid osteoporosis by keeping your spine from experiencing stress! There are zero drawbacks to improving your posture, and lots of potential benefits.
How can you upgrade your posture? Try some posture exercises for seniors.
Getting Started with Posture Exercises
The first step of trying any new exercise is a check-in with a medical professional. Posture exercises are typically gentle, but if you have neck or back issues that could be made worse by new stretches, you may want a second opinion.
Once you have the go-ahead to try some posture exercises, the first thing to do is to set your posture. You can start from a seated position. Sit up straight, lift your ribs and set your shoulders back. Put your feet flat on the floor, and take a deep breath. Make sure your chin is raised, and your back and neck are in a neutral position. Nothing should feel strained or uncomfortable. You can also do this standing up, if that is comfortable for you.
Once you know how to set your posture, you can begin practicing some posture exercises for seniors. There are lots of different posture exercises you can learn. Here are some easy ones to help you get started:
- Shoulder Blade Squeezes: Imagine there’s a coin between your lower shoulder blades. Press your shoulder blades back and downwards, trying to pinch the coin between them. Hold for five seconds, and repeat five times.
- Chin Tuck and Jut: Set your posture, then tuck your chin inwards and down. Hold for a second, then extend your chin outwards. Return to a natural position. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.
- Arms Up: Start with your arms down at your sides. Slowly lift them up to shoulder height, fingertips pointing away from you, so you finish in a “T” pose. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together, similarly to a Shoulder Blade Squeeze. Return to a neutral position.
- Wall Stretch: Stand up straight with your back braced against a wall. Slowly raise your arms, palms facing upwards. The goal is to lift your arms all the way overhead without losing contact with the wall behind you. Raise your arms as high as you can, then lower them. Repeat five times.
It’s easy to forget about maintaining good posture, but committing to a routine of posture exercises for seniors will certainly help. Exercises like yoga, strength training, and walking can also strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.
Are you already sitting taller?
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