Although some of us dread getting older, there are so many things to look forward to with age, such as spending more time with loved ones, watching your family grow, and experiencing new things. But if you’re in your fifth, sixth, or seventh, decade, you might start to notice aches, pains, and other issues making movement more difficult for you. This is a cause for concern. staying active as you age can help reduce these aches and pains.
You aren’t alone; age-related debility and chronic health conditions are common in our nation. Many of these concerns are the result of falls, which, According to the NCOA, “cause more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually.” But while there’s no question that our bodies change with age, it is possible to maximize your mobility and independence—and there are plenty of good reasons to do so.
Our physical therapy team can help you maintain a strong, healthy, and mobile body as you get older, manage and prevent chronic illnesses, and keep you active and energized throughout your golden years. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Reasons to stay active as you age
1. Staying active helps maintain your muscle mass
Loss of muscle mass is a common consequence of aging. But we need to strengthen and maintain our muscles as we age in order to maximize our independence, prevent falls, enhance bone health, improve metabolic and hormonal balances, support the immune system, and optimize overall health.
When it comes to muscle mass, that old saying really is true: “if you don’t use it, you lose it!” If you don’t strengthen your muscles, you could experience atrophy later in life, or even total loss of movement as you age. It might sound scary, but there’s no reason to worry as long as you make a decision today to take good care of your muscles! One of our physical therapists can work with you to establish a safe and effective exercise routine—and address any nagging injuries or illnesses that are making day-to-day function challenging.
2. Staying active increases your lifespan and quality of life
Research strongly suggests that staying physically active at any age can help you lose weight, cut down on stress levels, boost your memory and brain health, and improve your mood. Exercise is especially important for older adults because it reduces the risk of age-related health conditions, helps manage existing health conditions, extends a person’s “health span” and increases longevity(the amount of time spent disease-free). Exercising regularly also keeps your mood elevated, as stated by Healthline, “One study asked 26 healthy men and women who normally exercised regularly to either continue exercising or stop exercising for two weeks. Those who stopped exercising experienced increases in negative mood.”
If you only remember one thing, remember this:
The healthier, stronger, and more active you are as you age, the less likely you are to lose your independence, experience potentially life-threatening injuries, or die early. An added plus: exercise is neuro-protective and good for your brain—making it a no-brainer for any older adult!
3. Exercise helps you to prevent falls.
As previously stated, falling is one of the most common reasons for injuries in aging adults. According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is medically treated for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. Sadly, falling events claim the lives of three senior Americans every hour.
Research shows physical therapy is an effective way to prevent falling events in the elderly. Our physical therapist staff can offer you and your loved ones evidence-based strategies to improve your balance, coordination, flexibility, strength, and endurance and avoid the costly physical, financial, and emotional impacts of falls.
While falls are certainly very common—they affect 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 every year—they’re not a “normal” consequence of aging, and you should not accept them as such! Staying physically active is one of the best ways to prevent fall related injuries.
Ready to start staying active as you age?
If you are ready to make physical activity an essential component to your healthy aging plan, contact our physical therapy office today to schedule an appointment. One of our skilled physical therapists will assess your physical condition, ask you questions about your medical history, and address any areas of pain you may be having.
Our number priority here is to make sure that you have a good understanding of what it is you need to be doing on a daily basis to maintain your health. Your physical therapist is a trained movement specialist who will be able to determine if you’re currently at risk for falls or other serious injuries. They’ll help make sure you leave every appointment feeling confident in the way you’re taking care of your body!