As you get older, it becomes increasingly harder to move about. And this is the main reason why seniors start living less active lifestyles. But loss of mobility doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of ageing.
There are many ways you can not only slow down movement decline but also strengthen your muscles to make the likes of standing up, walking, getting into the bath and crouching down easier and pain-free for longer. Here are a few of the things you can do to keep your body on the move:
Exercise is the obvious, and often cost-free, way to maintain your mobility for longer. There are many exercises that work the key muscles and joints, including sit-to-stand. All you need for this is a sturdy chair that won’t slide along the floor. From a sitting position, move your bum to the edge of the seat, bring your toes underneath your knees, lean forward with your nose over your toes and push yourself up. This doesn’t just strengthen your leg muscles, but also your core and back muscles.
Regular stretches are another worthwhile, and very achievable, activity that’ll keep the muscles active. Overhead side stretches and hamstring stretches are both equipment-free and can be done while supporting yourself.
Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is vital for easing pressure on joints and bones. However, working out alone won’t achieve weight loss – you’ll also have to eat a healthy diet, limiting the amount of processed foods and saturated fats you eat.
#2. Get a walking aid
The right walking aid will add years to your mobility and independence by removing pressure from the parts of your body that suffer most from walking. A stand-up walker offers great support and the chance for you to distribute your weight evenly. You’ll find you can do most of the tasks you did before, plus meet up with friends and enjoy the self-sufficiency we all crave.
Having the correct shoes will also give you an effective walking aid, and is something that is often overlooked. Ideally, you’re looking for footwear with a sturdy sole which isn’t too thick but has good tread. Opt for a closed heel and ensure the shoe is lightweight enough to easily lift your foot from the ground. You may wish to choose shoes without laces or even add orthotics to make life easier and more comfortable.
#3. See a health professional
Your GP will advise if you’re doing everything you can to maintain your mobility. They’ll also recommend whether you should see a physiotherapist or other health professional who can help you to become stronger and more independent once again.
Mobility is a vital part of your quality of life, and there’s no law that says you have to lose it as you get older.
If you keep on top of it by staying fit and healthy, and seeking professional help at the first sign of trouble, then you’ve got a far better chance of staying on the move for years to come.