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Dieting & exercise

Is it possible to recover lost flexibility?!

(21 Posts)
ACP2018 Tue 16-Oct-18 11:56:29

I'm 54 and have had a couple of years of lots of walking but nothing else for various reasons. I've realised that I can no longer sit cross legged on the floor and it's given me a bit of a jolt! Is it possible to regain this flexibility or is it too late? What do you recommend? Give me your tales of success!

GrannyGravy13 Tue 16-Oct-18 12:21:01

Definitely possible to regain flexibility, look to see if there are any Callanetics or Pilates classes nearby.

You can also find tutorials on UTube.

You can start yourself off by trying to cross your legs several times a day and just lightly putting pressure on your knees, trying to touch your toes, there are so many gentle stretches to ease you in gently.

grannyqueenie Tue 16-Oct-18 12:49:11

I would say it depends on what’s causing the loss of flexibility. It was only when doing a “moving and handling” session at work that I realised I couldn’t do certain movements, I was late 50’s. Even as a child I’d never been very flexible, so thought little of it. But only a couple years later as the loss of movement became ever more obvious I discovered that I had advanced ortheo arthritis in my hip, it had caused no pain. At 62 I was advised to have a hip replacement, and warned I would never regain the lost movement which despite my best efforts has proved to be the case.

HildaW Tue 16-Oct-18 13:17:56

Yes it is, you just need to find a regime to suit we are all different and once a little older its more about small repetitive incremental movements, nothing drastic. I too was fond of walking but that's only really good for stamina and cardio.
Once you know there are no underlying problems...always good to get checked out .... start slow and build up. I do a combination of small weight work, yoga type stretching and dance (not altogether!)
Once we are carrying a few problems its always good to ensure you are doing things right...this is were a trusted teacher comes in.

GrandmaMoira Tue 16-Oct-18 13:24:11

When I was working I sat at a desk all day and was too exhausted to exercise so was very stiff. Since retiring I have been much more active and my flexibility has improved a lot.

ACP2018 Tue 16-Oct-18 17:26:01

Thank you all, you give me hope! I've a clean bill of health so there's nothing untoward going on. The issue has been that I finally stopped riding a couple of years ago and so my hips have got tighter and tighter, I sit at my desk most of the day and I'm no longer mucking out stables, heaving feed sacks around etc. So I feel like I've seized up. I have started pilates with a superb teacher and I've also started going to the gym, but progress feels slow and I guess I'm worrying that I'll never be able to flex in the same way again! A friend has suggested aquafit is a good one to do as well so I will investigate that.

Thank you all smile

M0nica Tue 16-Oct-18 22:27:01

I started pilates after I found that I had difficulty climbing a stile because I couldn't lift my leg far enough. As you sound otherwise reasonably fit, you would probably be able to do it, if a bit like hard work at the start.

Alternatively you could try Tai Chi. This is much slower and quieter, but flexes and exercises every joint and muscle. If you saw Michael Moseley on Trust me I'm a doctor last week, he measured a whole range of medical factors that improve with exercise in a group doing Tai Chi and another group doing Zumba, a much more obviously active exercise. The same medical measurements improved equally in both groups. So Tai Chi will not only improve your flexibility but be as good for you as a Zumba class.

Apricity Wed 17-Oct-18 05:55:23

Yoga with a teacher experienced with older students is a great way to improve flexibility. You only ever go as far into an exercise or pose as you are comfortable with and should never feel any pain.

Alima Wed 17-Oct-18 09:00:50

I have found some NHS leg strengthening exercises on line. Over the last few months my legs seem to have lost all strength they had. Walking is fine, trying to stand up from sitting on the floor isn’t, neither is getting out of the bath or car. Need to hold onto something. Haven’t tried sitting crossed legged. Did the gentle “ exercises for older people” this morning. No probs. Just walked GS to school and my legs feel like jelly. Must have woken the sleeping muscles. I was thinking of Pilates or Yoga but do not know what is best.

Teetime Wed 17-Oct-18 09:06:25

The NHS Choices website has some tutorials on stretching which are supposed to be beneficial. I am gong to try them someday!!!

TerriBull Wed 17-Oct-18 09:16:20

I'd love to be more flexible, I try to do Yoga from tutorials on line about 4 times a week, there are a multitude to choose from for all abilities. I have had lessons both in a class set up and a couple of years ago had a teacher to come to my house and give me one to one, that was really worth it although it was expensive, I had maybe a dozen sessions. I do find Yoga beneficial, particularly for flexibility.

Greta8 Wed 17-Oct-18 11:32:50

I'm in my mid 60's and have found a combination of a weekly Pilates and zumba class to be so beneficial in terms of improving my flexibility. I was always used to heavy gardening, but I guess only the same muscles are used. It has also improved my mental - as well as physical - health.

jeanie99 Thu 25-Oct-18 00:08:59

I've just recently joined a gym with classes and swimming included.
I am doing the slow movement classes like Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi.
It was quite a shock to my body after the first class but I can feel the difference and benefit from the classes.
I have a problem with balance I am in my mid 70s now but the teacher as given me alternatives to improve on this so fingers crossed.
I don't think it's every too late to try something if your health is good enough.

jeanie99 Thu 25-Oct-18 00:10:32

Forgot to say if you do have health issues check whatever you are thinking of doing with your GP.

Grandma2213 Thu 25-Oct-18 01:15:53

I had a hip replacement about 10 years ago aged 61 after hobbling around for years. Since then I have exercised, not exercised, gained and lost weight but have finally come to the conclusion that exercise and weight loss is a 'good thing'. I have had various pains but after checking with GP that they are nothing serious have done my best to remain flexible. Stretching, swimming and gym all help even when on doctor's advice I had to take pain killers to get through. He said it was better to take the medication than to 'seize up' and yes he was right. Walking, especially in beautiful surroundings is great but time consuming!

On a recent holiday I did a stretch class every morning, swimming (as it was so hot), aqua gym at least once a day, walked and danced as well as lounged and read on the sun lounger. This would be my perfect life as I have never felt better. Back to normal, available time is the issue. hmm

Persistentdonor Wed 06-Feb-19 16:44:28

Looking for something else, I just noticed this thread, though I realise it is a bit old.

I try to do the yoga "salute to the sun" each morning before eating. 2 or 3 cycles, which only takes around 3 minutes once you have the movements in your mind.

At first I was not very flexible, but regular practise means I become progressively bendier, and if I fail to do it for a few days I find my back starts to ache.

I really recommend anyone to try it regularly for one month, and I bet you won't want to give it up then.

jeanie99 Sat 16-Feb-19 22:09:58

Eight weeks into my new exercise routine and I am no longer stiff when I get up in the morning and miraculously from not being to balance on one leg I can now lift my leg high front and back.
Exercise does make a different.

supermodels Mon 18-Feb-19 12:48:07

Yes, it's possible to regain natural flexibility of your bodfy by doing stretching exercise. Also, Yoga and general dynamic and static stretches are will also help you to improve flexibility.

Jessity Mon 18-Feb-19 13:13:03

I’ve attended yoga classes once or twice a week for nearly 20 years and am convinced it’s kept me flexible.

Persistentdonor I hate Salute to the Sun, it’s the only posture I don’t like.

VikaVika Mon 15-Apr-19 00:03:08

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NanaHelen Tue 14-May-19 21:13:19

It is absolutely possible to regain flexibility, this was something I was also insecure and sad about - I wanted to feel the strength in my body again!
My problem was I found it tricky to get out and to any sessions so I wanted something at home. I mostly do yoga and assisted exercise too. I found Physio Comes to You, a company that does lots in the way of pilates and mobility as well as physiotherapy and the lady who comes to see me is wonderful. It's great fun and I'm seeing real improvement. I live in London but I think they do other areas so do check them out!