Most seniors understand the value of staying physically active, but some may start to face mobility issues as they continue down the path of aging. The less mobile we become, the more at risk we are for illness and injuries requiring hospitalization, or injuries leading to disability.
You know that old saying: “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”? This rings especially true when it comes to mobility for seniors. The less active we are, the more difficult it becomes to complete even some of the simplest of daily tasks. Improving your range of motion with regular exercise will help improve your health and overall quality of life.
How Active Seniors Can Improve Mobility
When seniors stay active, they’ll find increased strength, coordination and balance, all of which are vital in preventing falls. In addition to fall prevention, active seniors experience a wide range of other benefits, such as healthy weight and more energy.
If you’ve already begun experiencing a decrease or limitations in your mobility, the good news is it’s never too late to increase your range of motion! Start getting the blood flowing immediately; it’s been said that exercise is the “ultimate anti-aging medicine”.
Here are a few easy tips to help improve your mobility:
- Add activity slowly at first. After you’ve consulted with your physician and discussed any limitations you may have, start by being active for at least ten minutes every day. This can mean lifting some light weights or doing some exercises right from your chair, or even just taking a walk around the block. You can add on more activity as you regain more mobility, until you’re able to do a solid 30 minutes of exercise each day.
- Make healthy food choices. Try eliminating some of the unhealthy foods from your diet, like rich desserts that are high in sugar. Instead, substitute some fruit or high protein snacks when you get a craving. When you eat better, you feel better, which will lead to feeling more active and alert.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Like a healthy diet, a good night’s sleep is vital for seniors to feel refreshed and awake. Without restful sleep, seniors can become more prone to accidents and falls because they can become too tired to stay attentive to their surroundings.
- Find creative ways to get moving. It’s easy to add some simple mobility exercises into your daily routine! For instance, while you’re sitting on the couch watching television, keep hand weights nearby. Every time there’s a commercial break, do a few exercises. Or, walk around the house when you’re talking on the phone. Ask a neighbor to join you on a daily walk. There are plenty of ways to increase your mobility in ways that don’t necessarily feel like a workout.
- Keep at it! Once you’ve added more mobility exercises, don’t give up! Even on the days you feel too fatigued, try to complete at least 10 minutes of physical activity. Keep in mind that doing something is better than doing nothing!
American Senior Communities provides physical therapy through the Moving Forward Rehabilitation program offered at locations statewide. The New Energy Wellness program is designed to improve your current fitness level and give you more energy. For more information, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.