Best Stretching Exercises for Men Over 40
If you’re like most men over forty, you’ve made some great accomplishments in your life. Maybe you’ve landed your dream job and have built it from the ground up, or you have a loving spouse and a few kids keeping you on your toes. While you may have your personal and professional life together, have you taken the time to think about your exercise life?
After years of doing the same tasks every day and using the same muscles, you might be feeling a little stiff or tired in your joints. Making sure to exercise is great and will help you live a healthier lifestyle, but have you thought about the stretches you are doing?
Taking the extra time to stretch before working out makes a huge difference, and it can also make a huge difference in how you feel throughout the day.
Once they have reached their forties, men are at a larger risk of bone fractures due to osteoporosis, a disease that weakens your bone strength. Setting aside time during your day to stretch can not only help strengthen your bones, but it can also just make you feel better.
If you prefer a gym setting over working out at home, make sure to choose a gym that can provide either a personal trainer or a yoga instructor. These people will be able to help you properly stretch out your muscles without causing extra strain on your body. If you choose to workout at home, make sure to pay attention to these tips to you stay safe and avoid injury.
Let’s start at the top of your body. You’ve no doubt had at least one stress headache or neckache in your life.
Because your neck holds the most fragile bones in your spine, making sure to keep your head movements smooth and your neck steady is the most important thing. You probably did toe touches in school growing up, so the movements should feel relatively familiar to you. Touching your toes and bending over in a smooth, fluid movement is a great way to release stress from your neck area.
Remember to slowly bend at your waist and keep your head steady, as this will help you to prevent any injuries. This is a great stretch for when you first wake up in the morning.
It will help wake you up and get you ready for your day.
Shoulder Blade Touch
If your shoulders are where you carry your stress, try this exercise specifically for your shoulders. While standing with your feet about hip-width apart, stand up tall and place your hands behind your back. Pull your shoulder blades towards each other.
While you should feel some pulling, you should not be experiencing any pain.
If this movement is painful for you, you need to stop and try again. Once you have comfortably pulled your shoulder blades together, begin to slowly move your head towards your toes. Remember to keep your head and neck stable.
Bend at your trunk and bring your head level with your knees, this will allow your muscles to stretch without causing you discomfort. Once your head is parallel with your knees, take soothing breaths and hold that position for about thirty seconds.
Slowly release your breath, and begin pulling yourself back into an upright position. Always remember to keep your head and neck level.
Chest & Ab Stretches
Did you know that even your chest and stomach area can benefit from stretching? This is something you will see often in Yoga or Pilates classes. The most common exercise if this type is a floor stretching exercise that allows you to stretch your abs and upper chest area at the same time.
If you are using a hard floor surface, you may want to lay down a padded towel or blanket to keep yourself comfortable. Lying face down, reach your arms back and grab your ankles, your right hand to your right ankle and your left hand to your left ankle.
Lift your head and part of your chest off of the floor, hold for a few seconds, and then lift your knees and hips off of the floor. In this position, you may feel a little off balance, but this will change once you have completed it a few times. You will want to hold this position for about 10 seconds your first few times.
Once you feel completely comfortable with this move, you can increase it over time to a total of 30 seconds each time. If you do not have a balance ball at home, you can purchase one at a big box store.
If you prefer, you can also use the excuse to visit the sporting goods store. A great way to gradually stretch out your chest and abs is to lie on top of the ball and let your arms and legs relax. Don’t let your legs relax too much or you’ll end up head first on the floor. This is a great stretch to do right before bed, as it will also help you to relax in addition to stretching out your muscles.
As a man, you may have noticed that you are not as limber as some of your female counterparts, and that is perfectly okay. As far as stretching is concerned, you will need to give some extra attention to your back muscles. Focusing on these muscles will allow you to complete other stretches with more ease and comfort. Stretching out your back is something that you will yield the bests results if you work on it every day. Start with something small.
For example, stand with your legs hip-width apart and try bending your waist forward. Once you are down as far as you can go, let your arms hang loose and relax. This exercise will help you to get started stretching out your back muscles. It is also a great alternative to toe touches if you are unable to reach your toes with your fingers.
Once men reach their forties, taking the extra time to stretch daily becomes vitally important. Stretching can have a great influence on your future health and can keep you feeling better for longer. Try taking a Pilates or Yoga class and let the instructors know what you are looking to gain from your experience. If you are working out at home, try buying a home video or getting some advice from your doctor or a personal trainer to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly and safely.