Growing older has many benefits. Seniors typically have more free time, tend to have a more positive outlook and reap the benefits of the wisdom that comes with age. However, there are challenges as well.
Many seniors find that as they age they need more support to maintain a healthy level of mobility. Fortunately, there are many ways that healthy seniors can keep mobility intact.
One of the best things that seniors can do for themselves, is to maintain physical activity as they age. Depending on the individual, some activities may no longer be suggested for the aging population, but a regular routine of exercise or movement is a must.
Elders who enter their golden years physically fit have many options to keep moving, although they may find they need to adjust their routines to suit their current abilities. Older people who have not maintained a fitness routine previously still benefit from starting one.
The CDC states that low-impact activities such as swimming are great options for seniors. Swimming puts little stress on joints, works all the major muscle groups and provides a superior cardiovascular workout.
Seniors must adhere to recommendations that include a good warm-up and cool-down period in their exercise routine to avoid injuries. Stretching is an important way to facilitate muscle recovery, flexibility and range of motion.
Feed Your Body What It Needs
Good nutrition is important at any age, but it becomes even more important as people get older. A healthy diet supports the body's ability to build and maintain bone and muscle, both essential for mobility. The National Institute on Aging suggests a varied diet that includes healthy foods from all the major food groups, avoids saturated fats and reduces salt intake.
Supplements can support a healthy diet as well, to help seniors achieve the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals. Quality joint health supplements that include natural ingredients like curcumin, glucosamine, vitamin C and manganese help to maintain joint health, mobility and flexibility.
Maintaining balance is as important as exercise when it comes to mobility. One of the best activities that senior citizens can engage in for balance is the ancient art of tai chi. Movements in tai chi are slow and controlled, minimizing the risk of injury. Additionally, tai chi is a mindful movement that facilitates an occasional stress reduction which is beneficial to neurological health.
Keep Your Senses Sharp
Both vision and hearing can decline as people age, and both of these senses are central to mobility. It is important that seniors maintain regular checkups for eye and ear health and take advantage of tools such as corrective lenses and hearing aids to keep their senses sharp. A decline in vision or hearing also impacts seniors' social interactions which are needed for mental and emotional well-being.
Stand Up Straight
Good posture is more than an aesthetic concern. Incorrect posture in aging adults contributes to incorrect weight distribution which can cause a loss of balance and a decrease in mobility.
Poor posture also contributes to an increase in fall-related injuries. Once senior citizen experiences a serious injury, it is difficult for them to recover their previous level of activity and mobility. Many of the previous suggestions will support good posture. Exercise, stretching and strength training help keep seniors standing tall.
There are many ways that the older population can maintain their mobility as they age. Consistent gentle physical activity is crucial, as is maintaining flexibility and posture through activities such as tai chi or yoga. Making sure to adopt a healthy, varied and nutrient-dense diet is also essential, and targeted supplements can support joint health.
Additionally, seniors should remain vigilant to any decline in sensory abilities and keep up with regular exams and treatments to address them as they occur. Many of the common issues that come with aging are not as inevitable as some believe them to be, including a sharp decline in mobility.
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