Forget the myth that stretching is only important before and after a workout. Just like we need cardio to boost our heart health, we also need stretching to support our mobility and independence—and stretching daily provides a variety of healthy perks, from lowering stress and blood sugar to easing pain and preventing injury.
Stretching works our muscles, which keeps them flexible, strong and healthy. Without regular stretching, our muscles become stiff and weak, which makes them more difficult to move, resulting in an increased risk of muscle cramps and other issues.
Thankfully, stretching is something you can do at home. No matter your current level of activity or range of motion, there are exercises to fit you.
- Foot Stretches. Different foot stretches can help target different concerns. For example, these foot exercises from Medical News Today can improve flexibility and mobility, strength, and/or pain. Make sure you follow the safety tips as well.
- Leg Stretches. If you experience leg cramps, stretch every area—from your thigh to calf—to help alleviate them in the moment and prevent them in the future. This article from SilverSneakers offers 7 simple stretches for seniors who are just starting a new stretching routine.
- Full-Body Focus. The above stretches for leg cramps and foot cramps are only the beginning. To get the full health benefits of stretching, try yoga. According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga can not only increase muscle strength and lessen chronic pain, but also lower blood pressure, reduce insomnia, and promote cardio and circulatory health. You can do these 10 beginner yoga poses at home and modify them as needed.
Additionally, you may want to consider signing up for classes at your local gym, yoga studio or community center for guided stretching—and socialization.
Topical Muscle Cramp Relief
One of the most safe and effective at-home remedies for leg cramps is Theraworx Relief for Muscle Cramps and Spasms. The topical solution makes a great companion product for your exercise and stretching regimen. Apply before and after your workout and stretch session to release muscle tightness and reduce muscle soreness. When applied twice daily, Theraworx Relief can even stop muscle cramps from happening in the first place. Learn more and find a store near you today.