This particular entry is for those of us gloriously celebrating over fifty years on the earth. Okay, I admit, glorious might be a stretch some days. Honestly, had I known what the accidents of my youth would do to me in my fifties, I might have behaved differently. No….I wouldn’t have, you’re right. Yet, here we are, creaky, stiff and arthritic.
While some of the adventures of aging are normal, other physical problems need to be managed. There are myriad ways to do this and you should always consult your medical professionals.
Often, though, your physical therapist or physician will prescribe gentle exercise or stretching for strengthening. At first, the work you’re doing may seem dull and repetitive. The important thing to remember is to keep going. Over time, our tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity. (You can read more about that here. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191)
Our best hope to retain function into our….dare I say it?…..golden years is to keep a regular schedule of activity that will, over time, improve circulation no help maintain mobility (the ability to walk, bend, reach, and get out of a chair without help).
In my 25 years working in various areas of health care I have learned that not one of us wants to rely on others for help getting around. It is a difficult transition from being an independent adult to being one who needs assistance. The reality is that day will come for all of us who are fortunate enough to have a long life – even in the best of circumstances. What if we could delay that moment for a few days, months, or years? I believe the solution is in our own hands.
Staying active can be exhausting, annoying, challenging, time consuming and frustrating. I admit that. It is also 100% worth it. Feeling better, longer is absolutely within your reach. The beauty of it is that there is no one size fits all. Join a gym, if you want…..walk the dog, your neighbor’s dog, yourself. Take a yoga class. Buy a treadmill and listen to your favorite music or read a book while you work up a sweat. It matters. It works. And as a bonus, your heart will be stronger and your skin will keep a younger appearance. (I didn’t make that up . More on those two things here. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20909808,00.html and here http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-healthy-heart )
You have one body. Treat it right.