Stretch! 4 simple movement improvers


As we age, our bodies at rest tend to want to remain that way, but don’t get complacent. Regardless of fitness level, you can improve mobility and reduce pain by committing to a stretching routine. Here are four simple, low-impact moves from the experts at the National Institute of Health:

The back stretch: Using a sturdy armchair, reach behind your left side and grab the backrest, and use your right hand to grab your left knee, twisting your upper body over. Hold the stretch, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Repeat for the other side.

The ankle stretch: While seated, lift one leg off the ground. Pull your toes toward your knee and hold for 10 seconds. Then, point the toes toward the floor, and hold, focusing on breathing. Repeat for the other leg. The back leg stretch: While lying down, lift the leg towards the ceiling. Grasp the leg below the knee and pull towards the torso, keeping the leg as straight as possible, and repeat for the other side. This is a great stretch to do before getting out of bed to feel refreshed when putting your feet on the ground.

The front leg stretch: Lying on the side, grasp the ankle and pull it back while bending your knee - repeat with the other leg. If you can’t quite reach, wrap a towel around your calf and pull the towel back. When done properly, you’ll feel this stretch from the knee to the hip. In less than 10 minutes a day, you can feel more relaxed and refreshed, so go and get limber!