Stiffness actually precedes feeling old, if you ask me. In other words, you get stiff & THAT makes you feel old. I’ve seen 80 year-olds that get around great and move like they’re 20-30 years younger than they actually are. On the flip side, I’ve seen 40 year-olds that move like they’re 80! The biggest factor in both scenarios is flexibility (or lack thereof). Alignment plays a role, too, because a joint that’s out of alignment isn’t going to move like one that is in the right position.
Every joint in your body really does need to go through it’s FULL Range-of-Motion each and every day. From your toes to your skull sitting on top of your neck, within 7 days of a joint being “fixated” or “stuck” adhesions (scar tissue) will begin to form!
Stretches are one of the easiest ways to begin to feel better overall, because a stiff body usually doesn’t feel or function well. However, a body that is flexible not only moves better but feels and functions better!
As we age, none of us want to “feel our age,” but I can guarantee that time spent working on flexibility is time well spent and with yield results if you keep at it. Flexibility is a cumulative work, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it will go away if you don’t maintain it.
Practical way to start: before you get out of bed every morning start at your toes and work up to your head moving every little joint you can think of through its range-of-motion. If you have a job where you sit a desk all day, during each restroom break take 45 seconds to do your YTWL or Wall exercises (if you don’t have these, ask for them at the front desk). Before bed, take a few minutes to sit on a chair or the edge of your bed and stretch your lower back and hamstrings.