Downward Dog Stretch to Prevent Shrinking with Age
This exercise is to help stretch and elongate your spine. Sit on your knees with your legs tucked under you and bring your arms in front of you on the bed or floor. Elongate your spine and sit back on your feet. Remember that all stretches should only be mild-moderate in intensity. Never intense or painful. Hold for 30-60 seconds. You can perform 2-3 times a day.
Weight bearing is excellent and important to build and maintain bone strength. It can also be other recreational weight bearing activities such as tennis or golf. If you struggle with joint pain from arthritis or other diagnosis’, you will want to modify how long you are doing these activities based on your pain tolerance.
Full Body Stretch to Avoid Shrinking
Lay on your back on a flat surface with your legs out and your arms above your head. You will want to elongate your body as much as you can. Take deep relaxed breaths in and out for relaxation. Hold your positioning for 2-3 minutes.
Stand in any standard doorway in your home. Place one hand on each side of doorframe, hands will be roughly shoulder level or lower with your elbows bent. Place one foot in front of the other and gently lean into the front foot until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest. Hold for 30-60 seconds; you can perform 1-3 times a day. This stretch will help combat the forward shoulder position that we tend to fall into.
Keep elbows bent at 90 degrees at your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades together like you are trying to pinch a pencil in between your shoulder blades. Hold for 3 seconds and release. Perform 10-15 reps, 2-3 times a day. This also helps prevent a forward lean posture.
Not all exercises are appropriate for everyone. There may be reasons why some exercises on this list are not recommended for you including if you recently had surgery or suffered an acute injury. Exercises should never be painful. All these exercises will help you avoid a forward lean posture that ultimately shrinks us with time and age.
Feel free to contact any of Aquacare Physical Therapy’s Maryland or Delaware offices for an evaluation or free consultation to review your concerns or deficits.
Written by Marisa Newcomb, PTA at Aquacare Physical Therapy’s office in Millville, DE.