Just 10 minutes of stretching a day could reduce risk of falls among over 60s

Sparing a short gap in your day to stretch out helps improve your balance so you can avoid wobbles or falls as you age

Senior man stretches out his hamstring
(Image credit: Getty)

The older you get the less flexible you will feel. While this might put you off the idea of stretching, just spending as little as two five-minute sessions of stretching a day can vastly improve things like your flexibility and balance which will reduce the risk of falls.

Taking things like the best supplements for joints on a daily basis helps to reduce feelings of pain and discomfort for many adults. But light physical activity like stretching out on one of the best yoga mats can really help older people with poor balance.

A research paper published in the International Journal of Health Sciences revealed why seniors can actually benefit from regular stretching and it won't eat up your time.

A group of seniors aged 58 years or more was tasked with completing five-minute sessions of stretching, twice daily, for ten weeks. After completing the stretching program, the study results showed that stretching all major muscle groups of the legs clearly improved the participants' balance. They concluded that this is an effective way to reduce falls among the elderly population.

Senior couple stretch together before exercising outdoors

(Image credit: Getty)

The study paper highlighted that the elderly are most vulnerable to experiencing increased stiffness in the joints and this threatens their reliability on balance. The study authors wrote, "The maintenance of good balance requires adequate muscle flexibility."

This is why health professionals often promote exercise in the form of Pilates, yoga, or tai chi to the older population. And there is even scientific evidence to back this up as well. This study published in the BMC Geriatrics journal found that adults aged 65 or over, improved functional balance and strength in major lower-limb muscle groups after completing a tai chi training program.

If you are regularly exercising and stretching out your muscles, older adults should always ensure they are eating enough protein. Muscle mass gradually decreases as you age and getting plenty of dietary protein will help to grow and maintain your muscle mass. 

Also, as you stretch your muscles they can tear due to the muscles lengthening and contracting under tension so it will help to use one of the best protein powders for women included in our guide or another guide of ours will help you find a best protein powder for weight loss to help protect your muscles.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.