Emily Laurence reports that most adults spend a lot of time hunched over, which can cause back pain and poor posture, especially for people in their 50s.

Physical therapists have a simple stretch they recommend for improving posture and mobility, along with three other helpful tips.

As we age, maintaining good posture becomes harder. Dr. Shawn Weiss, a physical therapist, explains that poor posture can tighten chest muscles and make breathing more difficult.

Lindy Royer, another physical therapist, adds that shoulders and trunk mobility often decrease with age, making activities like swinging a tennis racket or reaching for high objects more challenging.

The doorway stretch is a highly recommended exercise for people over 50. To do it, stand in a doorway with your forearms against the doorframe, placing one foot in front and one behind. Push your front leg forward and hold for 20 to 30 seconds per side.

This stretch helps improve posture and respiratory function by targeting the shoulders and chest muscles. Dr. Weiss suggests doing this stretch one to three times a day to reduce neck and back pain and headaches.

Besides the doorway stretch, Dr. Weiss and Royer recommend the scarecrow stretch and hamstring stretch, along with regular walking, to support posture and mobility.

The scarecrow stretch involves lying on your stomach with arms in a goalpost position and lifting your forearms off the ground. This exercise strengthens the shoulders and upper back, helping with mobility.

The hamstring stretch can be done sitting or standing, and it involves placing one leg on a chair and leaning forward to stretch the back of the thigh.

Tight hamstrings can cause poor posture and back pain, so stretching them regularly is important.

Walking is also beneficial for maintaining good posture and mobility. Make sure to walk with a straight back, relaxed shoulders, and avoid leaning forward or backward.

Staying active and stretching regularly can help counteract the loss of mobility that often comes with aging.

Physical therapists emphasize that losing mobility after age 35 is not inevitable. By incorporating regular stretching and mobility exercises, people can maintain better posture and health as they age.

For more details, check out the full article on Parade.

Credit: Parade.


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