- We sit a lot, particularly on long driving days.
- We live in a compact space, with less need to move and reach for the things around us.
When on the road, we might get less natural stretching in our daily lives than non-RVers. The whole “use it or lose it” principle is at work here. If we aren’t active and moving in ways that will stretch us out, we will lose some of our flexibility. That leads to difficulty moving through our daily tasks, and sets us up for future injuries. To make matters worse, as we age, our muscle tissue gets replaced with a tougher, more fibrous tissue that makes us stiffer and our muscles less pliable.
So what’s an aging RVer to do?
The answer is simple. Daily stretching.
To age well, daily stretching really should be a non-negotiable part of every RVers day. It doesn’t even have to be anything complicated and time-consuming. The following 5 stretches are a great way to start working your body towards a more flexible and more efficient you. Give them a try!
Reaching Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the front of your chair with good posture. Straighten your right leg with your toe pointed up. Keeping your back flat (don’t round), slowly bend forward from the hips while reaching your right arm forward, parallel with the ground, palm facing down. Exhale as you are reaching out. As you return to start, inhale, rotate your palm up, and slowly pull your elbow behind you. Do this 10 times and then repeat on your left side.
Twisting Spine and Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit on the front of your chair with your legs straddled and the heels of your hands pressing down into your thighs. Slowly exhale and twist your shoulders so that your right shoulder comes in front of you, as you continue to press your hands into your thighs. Slowly twist to the left, bringing your left shoulder to the front this time. Continue until you have completed 10 twists to each side.
Hip Stretch with Ankle Rotators
There is a beginner and advanced way to do these. Beginners, simply cross your right foot over the top of your left ankle so that your right knee points out to the side. Advanced, cross your right leg over the top of your left leg, so that your right ankle rests on it. Once in position rotate your ankle by drawing big circles with your toes 10 times in each direction. Repeat on the other side.
Lunging Triceps Airplanes
Sit on the diagonally on the front part of your chair with your right knee bent and your leg straight in a seated lunge position; as shown in picture. Pull your left arm behind you keeping it straight and your palm facing upwards. Lean slightly forward at the hips and exhale as you draw your arm behind you. Slowly inhale as you bring your left arm straight up to the sky, and then bend it, keeping elbow pointed up, so that your fingertips try to touch your back. Repeat this movement 10 times on each side.
Posture Correcting Chest Opener Stretch
Draw both arms out to your sides and pull them behind you, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Simultaneously, tuck your chin back, elongate your neck, and inhale. As you exhale, begin gently rounding your spine and drawing your arms in front of you, twisting your hands so that the backs of your hands touch. Repeat 10 times.
I’d love to hear what you think of these, so definitely leave me your thoughts. Health and happiness, RV friends!
About the Author:
Stefany Adinaro, a Coach-Net member since 2013, is an RVing exercise specialist and the self-proclaimed “better half” of The Fit RV website she maintains with her husband James. While she loves her RV adventures, her favorite adventure is being “Mugga” to grandbabies Amelia and Eli. To learn more, check out The Fit RV website!
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