Staying Active as We Age

Some say “age ain’t nothin’ but a number” and that’s true, until you start to “feel” your age. The best way to be able to enjoy your “golden years” and the retirement you worked so hard for is to make sure you stay active. Staying active doesn’t have to be an intimidating task; there are lots of small steps you can take to increase your activity level.

Swimming or Water Aerobics are a very low-impact method of increasing your strength, balance and flexibility. Exercise in the water is gentler on joints, reducing the compressive forces through the spine as well as lightening the load that is put throughhips and knees. Swimming also helps improve strength in the core muscles which support a stable and strong spine. Even if you don’t know how to swim, simply walking laps in the pool or sidestepping through the water has great benefits.

Walking is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to stay active. Fifteen minutes of walking can help improve your mood, clear your head, and give your heart a boost. Be sure to let some one know where you’re walking and always carry a cell phone in case of emergencies. For those times when the weather doesn’t cooperate; your local mall, large box store, or museum are also great indoor locations to take a stroll.

Activity isn’t limited to the physical; keeping your mind active as you age is as equally important. If reading novels isn’t your idea of a good time, crossword puzzles, word-finds, or Sudoku are great ways to challenge your brain. Mental challenges may help increase blood flow to the brain and can help delay or even prevent memory loss.

Put the shine into your “Golden Years” by engaging in an active lifestyle! If your later years are feeling more rusty than golden, an evaluation by a licensed physical therapist can pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and offer a plan to decrease symptoms and restore function.

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