We’ve all heard the phrase, if you don’t move it you lose it but how many of us actually follow that phrase and incorporate it into our daily lives? In today’s day and age, it’s pretty easy not to move it at all. Most of us work in front of a computer screen, use the car for every outing we go on and even grocery stores will do the shopping for us and deliver your goods to you curbside. How much of this sedentary lifestyle will affect us in later years when mobility and balance is even more restricted and range of motion issues can lead to falls, injuries and lengthy hospital stays? A lot say the experts! A recent study by the Mayo Clinic lists physical activity as one of the top ways to reduce falls and injury in older adults. Even gentle exercises like swimming or Tai Chi can help increase balance and strength and reduce a person’s risk of falling and injury.
But what happens if you’ve injured yourself previously? Fear of falling can cause intense psychological trauma in seniors. The result is a terrible circle where the fear reduces the activity which then reduces the strength, balance and mobility, which then increases the risk of falling and injury doing even simple household tasks.
So, what can you do? Keep moving! Start slow and do what you’re comfortable with. Talk to your doctor to find out what you’re cleared for and research options in your area. The YMCA has a Silver Sneakers programs, and many area senior centers host exercise classes at their locations. There are even many free workouts on line. I’ve included a link to a chair work out below!
Talk to your health care provider, start slow, find something you like, and always try to do a little better. You could be setting the stage for better health and independence for years to come!