Tips for staying healthy, strong and flexible as you age
Recently I have had quite a few clients presenting concerns about how to keep their bodies healthy, strong and flexible as they age. And after a recent conversation with a client on this very topic I thought to myself: “who doesn’t want a fit body to carry them through the many adventures we all hope to embark upon in life?” It seems that we are expected to accept that a bucket of ailments, pain and failing systems are just a normal part of getting older. I beg to differ, while wrinkles and grey hair might be something most of us will eventually experience, inflexibility and muscle pain can be helped! As we age our bones begin to lose density and our muscles become weak and more stiff but there are a few things you can start doing right now to prevent these issues and keep your youthful self glowing. Already there? Don’t worry we can help you reverse the aging effects too!
First things first, it’s time to self assess and I mean be real with yourself and don’t make excuses, for the purposes of this article we will just address the muscles. Ask yourself these questions: What areas of your body have been most abused by sports, injuries, stress patterns, repetitive strain, etc…? What is most likely to, or has already begun to, wear down and stop working properly causing inefficient movement patterns and pain? Look in the mirror, is one shoulder higher, is your neck cocked slightly to one side? These are all things that are good indicators in deciding where to begin this important self-care work.
After you have created a short list of things you would like to improve here are a few steps to help you find the right path:
Take the next step in self assessment by looking at your lifestyle: what small changes can you make everyday to help yourself stay or become strong and flexible through the years? It might be as small as changing the bag you carry everyday, adding in a morning stretching routine or getting a new chair at the office. Don’t underestimate the details! The tiniest things can often make a huge difference!
Get help from a professional. A personal trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor or a massage therapist can help you further identify areas of imbalance and use their specific area of expertise to help you find an exercise or treatment plan to obtain the results you desire. You may need a team of people in the beginning to find what works best for your particular situation. This can feel like a big commitment, but remember: Without a healthy body it will be difficult to enjoy life and I am certain that this is each of our goals, YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Commit to your own well-being by making your body a place where dis-ease cannot thrive. Drink plenty of water, Sleep 8 hours a night, Move!, Eat delicious and healthy food, Find peace by doing things that make you feel good, de-stress your life by getting rid of things that are not serving you and your goals. Always have fun, learn and grow.
It can be difficult in our culture and busy lives to feel comfortable giving to ourselves and finding the time to build in a self-care routine. My advice is to take one day at a time, make small changes as you go and celebrate the victories as they come no matter how small they may be. I believe that if you use these tips as a guide along with your own intuition gathered by listening to your body that you will find the years beginning to melt away.