Tight muscles are behind many body aches and joint pain. This quick stretch routine will help you feel better in minutes.
Stretching keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy. It increases blood flow to joints, which can help with stiffness. And it allows your body to move more easily, preventing injuries.
“Your muscles are a lot like rubber bands,” says SilverSneakers fitness expert Larysa DiDio. “The rubber band that’s most useful is the one that’s long and elastic, not the one that’s stiff and tight.”
More than helping you feel good as you go about your day, a 2019 study in Clinical Rehabilitation found that regular stretching may even help reduce chronic pain and improve sleep quality.
“Whether you’re at the sink doing dishes, standing up to get some movement while you watch TV, or you’re waiting for your bathtub to fill, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day for standing stretches,” says DiDio.
How to Use These Standing Stretches
Press play to follow along with Larysa as she leads you through six essential stretches. Later on, you can do these stretches after a workout, during your day or even before bed. “Practice them often so they become second nature,” she says. “You want stretches to be part of your daily routine so that you can let go of stress and give your body the relief it needs.”
As you go through the movements, remember that stretching shouldn’t be painful. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends stretching just to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort. Try to hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can stretch safely.
Bonus Challenge: Try a Gentle Stretch (Express) Class
Want more guidance? Join us for a 15-minute Gentle Stretch (Express) class. It’s a soothing sequence that will help ease tension and aid movement. It’s offered online with SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here.
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