The more sedentary we are throughout our lives, the more difficulty we will experience with mobility in older age. The best time to start incorporating more movement into our day is now. Whether you are 20 or 60 years old, start now. Avoid sitting for long periods of time. If you are working at a computer or binge-watching TV, set a timer to remind you to get up and walk around a bit every so often. Make it a habit to take the stairs instead of an elevator as often as you can. One study found that walking briskly for just 10 minutes a day can help prevent the effects of arthritis and help keep you mobile.
One study found that women who eat healthy diets have a lower risk of physical disability later in life. Participants with a high consumption of fruits and vegetables with a low consumption of sugars, trans-fats and salt were associated with a lower risk of mobile impairment.
Strength training, especially core strength training, can go a long way in keeping us mobile as we age. This type of exercise can help keep you limber and mobile, but it will also improve your balance and prevent falls. Another added benefit is a reduced risk of osteoporosis. The time to start is now, but it is never too late. If you are just starting out with a strength training program, remember to start light and gradually increase over time to prevent injury.
Stretching is great way to reduce aches, loosen muscles, and relax joints. Stretching also ensures a greater range of motion in your joints which will make it easier to move. Stretches are easy to incorporate into your daily routine without the need for any equipment. Many stretches can even be done in bed before you get up in the morning!
Managing pain is imperative to maintaining mobility. If we experience pain for a prolong period of time we will begin to avoid movement of the area where the pain is experienced or even avoid movement altogether to prevent further pain. Muscle will eventually deteriorate and will be difficult or impossible to recover and could lead to complete immobility. If you experience chronic pain, talk to your doctor as soon as possible about options for managing the pain so that you can stay mobile as you age.
While some of these points, like exercise and healthy eating, may seem like common sense, it’s important to remember that small changes can make a big difference when it comes to our health as we age. And don’t forget – staying consistently mobile at any age is key! If you have any questions about which exercises, diet, and pain management plan is right for you, please make an appointment with your doctor. We have plenty of resources available for both seniors and their caregivers. For more information visit www.sprinheights.care. Thanks for reading!