When we think about growing older, many of us worry about losing mobility, functionality, and an active life of independence. For sure, adjustments always have to be made for whatever stage of life you’re in. However, with today’s medical and health science advances, there are ways to remain active and independent as you age. With the right guidance and taking proactive steps now, there’s no reason you can enjoy a life full of adventure and vitality. In fact, you may be able to improve your physical function with the right support.
Physical therapy is a proven way of helping people maintain health, mobility, and independence in age. Physical therapists work with the body at its current stage in life to improve movement. They take into account life experience, current medical conditions, and ailments and deficiencies when making an assessment and developing a program. An individually designed program from a physical therapist will help you achieve your goals even as you age. These programs consist of a number of principles that can serve as tips for anyone as they grow older.
1. Maintain Fitness
It doesn’t matter whether you were a star athlete when you were younger. If you don’t maintain your fitness as you grow older, it becomes difficult to maintain mobility and physical function as well. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or into extreme fitness to stay fit as you age. Maintaining a simple and regular exercise routine will not only keep you healthy and independent in age, but will also support your cognitive abilities, which decline as you get older. However, it’s important to recognize your limits in your age and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. An exercise expert, such as a physical therapist, will be able to help you with this, as well as prescribe the right strength training and aerobic exercise for your body.
2. Work On Balancing Exercises
As we grow older, balance becomes more difficult to retain. This can lead to falls and further injuries, as well as mobility. Incorporating balancing exercises into your routine is essential to preventing falls and injuries. Simple balancing exercises, coupled with core strengthening, can help you retain your balance and independence in age.
3. Realize Your Limits
It’s always hard to admit to ourselves when we’ve reached our limits. If you grew up as a physically active person – participating in sports and exercise regularly – it could be difficult to recognize when you should no longer be doing the same intensity. However, getting injured when you’re older can lead to difficulty in maintaining independence. If you don’t realize your limits with physical activity, you can lead yourself to injury and make it more difficult to be active later on. You may not be able to do that triathlon anymore, but you can still run, bike, and swim within your limits. A physical therapist can help you and remind you of your limits with physical activity so that you can stay injury-free and independent as you get older.
4. Communicate With Your Health Team
Some of us don’t like to bother our doctor or physical therapist with what we think is a stupid question or insignificant pain. However, that insignificant pain could lead to an injury. Any sort of uncomfortable feeling should be reported – even if you think it’s not worth mentioning. Staying engaged with your health team – whether it’s your doctor or physical therapist – is essential to maintaining your health.
5. Exercises For Staying Active In Age
Following the above tips will help you stay active in age. Physical therapists, in particular, can help devise a program specifically for you that takes into account your age and current condition in life. There’s no reason that you can’t do something you enjoy regularly with the right guidance. Furthermore, it’s never too late to start exercising, even if you’ve never been fit before.
- Go for walks.
- Do yard work, but maintain good posture to avoid pain.
- Biking is an excellent way to start exercising without over-taxing your body.
- Use walking sticks to help with balance when hiking.
Now is the best time to start getting physically active.