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Get flexible!

Your physical flexibility doesn’t have to decline with age. Performing a regular stretching routine can restore muscle tone and help you move more freely. You’ll have fewer aches and pains and less chance of injury, too.

Below are some simple stretches recommended by The National Institute on Aging to help improve your flexibility. Be sure to get your doctor’s OK before doing any stretches, especially if you’ve had a hip replacement or other procedure that may limit your range of motion. Warm up first by taking a walk or marching in place. Hold stretches for at least 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times. Stop if you feel pain.

Wrist stretch

Seated or standing, place hands together as though you are praying. Slowly lift your elbows so your lower arms are parallel to the floor, keeping your hands in position.

Hamstring stretch

Stand behind a chair that has an upright back. Extend your arms to grasp the chair back with both hands. Bend forward from your hips until your back is parallel with the floor. Keep your back flat, not rounded, during the movement. You’ll feel this in the back of your thighs.

Hip rotation

Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Lower one knee to the side while keeping your pelvis and opposite leg stable. Hold the position, then return to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.