Growing old means you finally get to enjoy retirement, with no work and no kids at home, right? But getting older can also mean more physical difficulties as your body doesn’t always work like it used to. One of the most difficult and common aspects of old age is the loss of mobility, not being able to get around as easily as you once did. But there’s hope, a recent study found that stretching a few times a week made walking easier in people over the age of 65.
The study looked at 12 individuals over 65 who stretched three times a week. The control group of eight participants of the same age did no stretching. The study found that after four weeks, the group that stretched had a significantly larger range of motion in their hips and ankles and they were walking faster and their stride was longer.
Some information on America’s aging population:
- Almost 40 million people are 65 years old or older in the United States.
- Only 41 percent of the elderly describe their health as very good or excellent
- Ten percent of 65- to 74-year-olds reported difficulty walking, while 25 percent of 75- to 84-year-olds did and 45 percent of people 85 years old and older had difficulty walking.
Growing old doesn’t mean that you are destined for a quiet life spent sitting on a rocking chair on the porch talking about the good old days. Studies have shown that exercise can prevent muscle deterioration, give you a better outlook on life and help increase brain function. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, only a few times a week. So go take a walk with the grandkids, spend some time at the pool or just take a few minutes to stretch everything out. Keeping active makes life more enjoyable and easier to participate in.