Stretching or flexibility exercises improve the movement of joints, help in reaching above your head, and reduce stiffness in muscles.
It is important to stretch the major muscle groups.
When getting started, move into the position slowly until a stretch is felt, and hold that position for 10 seconds. This should be repeated 3 to 5 times for each movement.
It is important to breathe while holding the stretch. The exercises should include moving the arms above the head, to the side, across the chest, stretching the lower legs (calf muscles), the backs of the legs and the front of the thighs. It is also important to stretch out the fingers/hands using a circular motion around the wrist and the toes/feet using a circular motion around the ankle joint.Stretching around the neck and shoulders is also important.
Stretching should be done 4 to 7 days/week
It is possible to develop muscle strength by moving our body weight against gravity. Examples of such exercises are
- Standing up and sitting down out of a chair several times
- Raising up and down on your toes
- Stepping up and down off a step
- Climbing stairs.
All of these are simple exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the legs, making many activities of daily living easier.