This feature is edited from SilverSneakers’ article on www.silversneakers.com
While sedentary seniors often experience leg and back pain, they might not know that it can be caused by “tight hips.”
Tight hips involve the hip flexors, a group of muscles that run from the lower back through the front of the hips to the tops of thighs. Their job? To pull your thigh toward your torso every time you take a step.
Tight hips can result from sitting too much; the hip muscles stay in a shortened position for a long period of time. This can lead to tightness, which can add extra stress on the lower back and hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your legs). Unfortunately, poor mobility, balance issues and joint pain cause many seniors to sit more often than they should.
Stretches and Exercise Help
Staying active is the best way to relieve tight hips and related lower back and hamstring problems. Walking, jogging, swimming and yoga are great activities to add to your daily routine.
Doing hip flexor stretches every day, or a few times a day, can also help to relieve muscle tension and improve mobility. And all can be done in your living room! We are sharing three stretching videos on our Facebook page. They are Hip Stretch #1: Lunge in a Chair; Hip Stretch #2: Seated Dancer’s Pose; and Hip Stretch #3: Reclining Dancer’s Pose.
Keep in mind that once you’re comfortable in a pose, hold the stretch for five deep breaths per side. Safety is always important. If you have a chronic condition, balance issues or injuries, talk to your doctor about how to exercise safely.
Exercise Classes for Older Adults
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.
Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activity for daily living skills. Hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles and a ball are offered for resistance. A chair is used for seated and/or standing support. The class is suitable for new to intermediate exercisers.
Walking at Wellington Town Hall
115 Willard Memorial Square
The gym is open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for walking. Please do not engage in other activities that interfere with walking: no stroller, skate boards, roller skates, ball-bouncing or children running around, which could cause falls for the walkers.