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It’s not such a far-stretched idea .
As a chiropractor, I study the health of our joints. When a patient visits, I look for the level of ‘springiness’ of the joints, especially along the spine. Often, I am able to detect the first signs of a back or neck problem. The reason: poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle. If you are stuck in a routine of driving to office, working at your desk, driving back home, you need to sit up and make changes in your lifestyle. Like most doctors say, there is good news and bad news. Let’s start with the latter.
Your body will never be able to produce elastin in the same quantities it did before you were born. But the good news is that you can retain and maintain the flexibility in your joints — and 40 years is not too late!
Here are some steps you can take:
[Please note: If you have a medical condition or are in pain, check with a doctor before starting any new form of exercise.]
For those who are inactive, simple forms of regular exercise like walking, swimming or even playing golf will improve one’s flexibility.
However, you will find that there will still be certain muscles and joints that will tend to stay tight or even tighten if the form of exercise is not varied enough, or is excessive. If you are going to take up a new sport or active hobby, it’s important that you know something about warming up properly and stretching.
Aim to stretch every day. Yoga and Pilates can be effective ways of improving flexibility. It is important to establish a routine that you are comfortable with and are prepared to do on a regular basis. I encourage most people over the age of 40 to complete a simple three-minute daily exercise programme that promotes balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. You can find it online; it’s called ‘Straighten Up UK’ and was designed by the British Chiropractic association to help reduce problems resulting from poor spinal health in an ageing population. Just remember to do it at a set time during the day so it becomes routine.
If you are going to do your own set of stretches, try to follow these general tips:
This is a preview of the full article. To read more about staying flexible after 40