The #1 Key To Staying Young

Seniors Playing at Water's Edge

Enjoy Life Beyond Your Golden Years!
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Enjoy Life Into Your Golden Years, And Beyond!

Looking around today, I see a lot of Senior Citizens doing the shuffle. No, it’s not a new dance craze for the senior set. It’s the way they walk, shuffling one foot in front of the other, sometimes with a cane in hand to keep their balance.

It’s a prevalent problem for those in their 80’s and up. But as the Boomer’s pass into their Silver and Golden years, it can start showing up as early as 60’s or 70’s.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Growing old shouldn’t mean shuffling around town. Stretching out the lower back, hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles will loosen up the lower body, especially the tendons and ligaments which shrink and pull the muscles and contributes to the shuffling. Stretching also allows the person to remain active and independent well into their old age and is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle and healthy aging..

Stretch For Healthy Aging

A stretching routine should be done 3-4 times per week. Always warm up with a brisk walk. Stretching cold, tight muscles can cause injury. Each stretch should be held for 20 – 30 seconds and repeated 2 – 3 times.

Side-to-Side Stretch

Sit in a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows facing out to either side. Slowly bend at your waist to the right, feeling the stretch in your left side. Reverse the motion to go to your opposite side, feeling the stretch in your right abdominal muscle.

Forward Stretch

Sit in a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows facing out to either side. Slowly bend forward at your waist, feeling the stretch in your lower back. Slowly sit back up.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Lie on the floor with your legs extended and your arms comfortably at your sides. Pull your right leg in toward your chest, holding on to the leg for 20 to 30 seconds, then release the stretch. Repeat on the left leg, pulling it in as you are able, but do not pull to the point of strain.

Calf Stretch

Stand with the hand on the wall for support in split stance–one leg forward and one leg back. Press the back heel towards the floor and lean the body forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your calf. Repeat on the other side.

Doing these simple stretches can help keep you feeling young for the rest of your life. And instead of shuffling around town, you’ll be doing the Moon Walk on the dance floor.

Sifu Dale Guadagna

About Sifu Dale Guadagna

Dale Guadagna began his Tai Chi journey in 1998. Encountering job-related stress, he joined The Peaceful Dragon to help manage his chronic stress. Seeing how the Chinese Arts of Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and Meditation has helped countless students, including himself, he has devoted his life to teaching these arts. In 2009, with his wife Maricris, they opened Lake Norman Tai Chi Center to serve North Mecklenburg, Iredell, and Cabarrus counties in North Carolina.
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