Discover How Flexibility Can Improve Walking for Older Adults

Flexibility is vital for the fluidity of our movement, as well as our body’s ability to rotate.

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Dr. Jeffrey Guild (00:00:00) –

Flexibility is important because of the fluidity of our movement: our ability to just take nice, long strides; the ability for our body to rotate; the ability to just move in a nimble and dynamic fashion. And, you don’t have to accept as you get older that you can no longer do those things. Just because you’re no longer 35 or 20 years old doesn’t mean that you can’t be nimble on your feet. It doesn’t mean that you can’t move swiftly. It doesn’t mean that you have to be stiff and tight all throughout your body.

It doesn’t mean that your joints have to ache so much. And, I bet you would be amazed at the difference, including with just your joints, how much better your joints would feel if you were stretching on a regular basis. Or, if you’re not stretching enough and you recognize it, which few people are, if you just increase that, or as we talk today, figure out okay what should I be stretching? What are some tools I can use to start that process?

There’s the fluidity of the walking. There’s also the ability to respond when we lose our balance. If we’re more flexible, we’re more nimble, we’re more fluid, then we can respond if we get knocked off balance or if we lose our balance. And here’s the dirty little secret, right? All of us, every day, lose our balance all the time. It happens to 20-year-olds on a regular basis. The difference is, they don’t recognize it. They don’t think about it. The only time when they might recognize it is if they happen to land on their bottom or something. And, you know, it’s embarrassing or they trip up a curb and, you know, they respond and they might notice that for about a second, and then they continue to walk right into Starbucks, right?

That’s how people operate when they’re young. They don’t think about falling. If they trip, it’s not a big deal, their body just responds and then they just keep going. They don’t even think that they lose their balance. And we lose their balance when we’re young on a regular basis. The difference is, how do you respond to it?

One of the reasons is, of course, you’re more fluid, you’re more nimble. Uh, flexibility, even if it’s not good, you know, your body is able to just kind of respond better. Their joints and muscles and everything have more collagen in them. We’re able to be more pliable, more nimble.


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