Successful Aging, Arthritis Prevention, Improve Balance

Functional Movement for Successful Aging

I trust that you are all surviving this temperamental weather. I know that many of you were sick last week.  It’s especially important to wash your hands and take plenty of vitamin C during weather like this.

 Todays vlog is inspired by a couple of you, and is on a topic that I feel most of you have been struggling with for a very long time.  So here goes….

Many of you come seeking help in addressing your health issues.   Whether it’s simple arthritic pain, fatigue, gut pain, blood pressure, autoimmune disease, or high cholesterol, the root cause is not so black and white.

I can confidently tell you that underneath the host of physiological symptoms, there’s stress that feeds into the emotional turmoil that seems to coincide with the symptoms.

I treat many women, and I’ve found that underneath the surface, many of you are conflicted emotionally, and those emotions are deep rooted.  Deep rooted in feeling inadequate.  It may be due to guilt, resentment, or pain from your past.

You’ve spent your life supporting your family and now you realize your health is not optimal.  You work hard to get somewhere and to be a better person, wife, friend, and mother. You want to accomplish more, do more, and constantly strive to get better, always running…….toward something.

But while you cook, work, or read a story to your kids, you constantly worry.  Underneath this “worry” is the FEAR that something is wrong with everything, or that something will go wrong.  Or maybe you don’t know what’s wrong, so you pretend everything is ok.  And you know this is completely illogical.

So today I just wanted to let you know that we all feel this way in some form or another.  You are not alone.  I chose to talk about this topic today because I know that many of you, while seeking answers to better health, remain conflicted within.

I want you to know that acknowledging your feelings is the first step to transformation.  From there, now we can move on.

Let’s shift gears and talk about successful aging.

So everyone is subject to the ticking of the clock, and every second of every minute that goes by, we are getting older.  Getting older means that our bodies are degenerating, and unless you help slow down the degeneration, you will feel the pain of aging.

So I want you to close your eyes and think about how you’d want to spend your time in retirement.  Some of you are busy raising kids, some of you are busy working and raising kids, and some of you are marrying off your kids and taking care of your elderly parents.  Where ever you are, I think its worth your time to think about the quality of your life after retirement.

I have many patients that have aged with me, and as they face retirement, they are unable to even fathom travels and leisure due to physical and health limitations.  So today I want to let you know that it’s not too late to set yourself up to be able to do these things.

As a rehab professional I believe one should work on mobility, flexibility, stability, and strength.  In a distracted environment today, it’s so easy to lose sight of how you are moving.  Before we know it, our bodies become stiff, achy, rusty, and arthritic.

I want to show you what you should be able to do physically to prove you are on the right track when it comes to “quality of aging”.  Think of it as a functional movement assessment.

1. Low Squat- bend your knees and sink your hips down, while tucking your tailbone in. Engage your core and keep your chest up, upper body back. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes. Sink as low as you can go and come up slowly. Repeat 5 time.

2. Low squat to sit- sink your hips all the way down and bring your bottom to the floor.

3. Boat pose- while on the floor, keep your upper body open and spine extended. Lift your knees up as high as you can. Bend your knees, and if you can, straighten them. If you are unable to hold your knees up for now, place your hands on the ground to help you hold them up.

4. Plank- starting from hands and knees, with the palms of your hands right under your shoulders, extend your legs behind. Your body should end up in the push up position. It’s important to keep your tailbone tucked and have a slightly rounded spine. Press firmly through all five fingers and keep your core tight, hollowing out your belly.

5. Shoulder flexibility (cow face stretch)- sitting on the ground, bring your right arm up to the ceiling and then bend your elbow down so you hand is between your shoulder  blades. Take your left hand and press the right elbow down gently, deepening the stretch. If this is easy for you, bring the left arm down, bend the elbow and reach the left hand up the center of your back, grasping the right hand. Take a deep breath in.

Great job! If these exercises were doable for you, congratulations, you’re on the right track. However, if they were challenging for you, it means your joints have gotten rusty, and chances are if left to do nothing, you’ll have a difficult time functioning after retirement. It’s not too late to change this. If you get started now, you’ll be on the road to improvement in no time.

Even though these exercises may be difficult at first, the more you practice, the more flexible and strong your body will become. Practice these everyday and I promise you’ll see improvement.

Thanks for watching and see you next week!

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