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The Importance of Flexibility for Seniors

Talk of flexibility often brings to mind images of Lycra-clad yoga practitioners twisting their bodies into pretzel-like poses. It can make flexibility seem like a privilege. This is like thinking the only place you’ll find water is in a pool for Olympic athletes. Water is everywhere, and so is flexibility. It can have a huge impact on everyday life. If you need proof, consider the importance of flexibility for seniors.

Exploring the Benefits of Being Flexible

At its most basic, flexibility can be defined as the ability to bend and move without breaking. Clearly, that’s an excellent thing. In fitness, flexibility refers to the body’s capacity to complete its full range of motion without pain or restriction. As Physiopedia explains, that offers some serious benefits that people of all ages, including older adults, can appreciate:

  • Good flexibility reduces the odds of injury.
  • Fair amounts of flexibility improve quality of life by allowing you to accomplish the tasks you desire.
  • Healthy flexibility levels support a solid athletic performance and help to fend off fatigue.

What is the best argument for the importance of flexibility for seniors? Improving flexibility can reduce the risk of falls. In fact, exercises for flexibility are often combined with ones to boost balance and postural stability in fall-prevention training programs for older adults.

Understanding Why Flexibility Fades

The natural aging process has a negative effect on flexibility. Many people will experience increased joint stiffness, a decrease in elasticity of tendons and muscles, and a loss of water in the spine and tissues. In response to this reduced flexibility, they may limit their activity. Over time, their steps become shorter, their motions become smaller, and they become less active. Since the human body tends to lose what it doesn’t use, this gradual self-limitation generally leads to a loss of flexibility, stamina, and strength. If you don’t want to suffer these losses, you must take action to prevent them.

Discovering How to Protect Flexibility

With the importance of flexibility for seniors, it’s only natural to want to maintain or extend your flexibility. How do you do it? Even small steps can deliver big payoffs. Many types of exercises can help.


Like flexibility, yoga is for everyone. While advanced yoga poses may be intimidating, the basic poses are simple and effective for building flexibility, strength, and balance. They are also highly adaptable, so finding a skilled teacher can make this centuries-old form of exercise suitable for almost anyone. In fact, there are versions of yoga that can be done while seated in a chair.

Tai Chi

Also known as “meditation in motion,” tai chi is a form of Chinese martial arts. It’s been practiced for centuries to promote good health. As Harvard Health explains, this slow-moving, low-impact exercise can be an ideal choice for those who want to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. While it may seem like a dance, a steadily growing body of research indicates that tai chi offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.


Pilates harnesses intentional movements, breathwork, and body weight to score benefits that are easy to appreciate. Practitioners report greater flexibility, better balance, enhanced strength, better posture, and less back pain. People who do pilates won’t bulk up. Instead, a proper pilates program leads to a lean, balanced profile with a solid core.


If you’re already active, you may find that you simply want to add stretching to your routine. To stretch safely, don’t push it. Go slowly, and breathe through the stretch. Keep joints bent and relaxed. Stretches should be smooth and slow. Don’t jerk or force the motion. Remember: A mild pull is okay; pain means you’ve gone too far.


For seniors, staying flexible means better health, greater safety, and more freedom. At Hearthside Senior Living, we believe that the happiness, well-being, and independence of our residents are important, so we’re committed to providing the support they need.

Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace an active lifestyle. We would be happy to schedule a tour to explore the neighborhood, speak with the Community Director, meet some residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!

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