We are all prone to worry about our quality of life as we get older and things like mobility, pain and discomfort and falls prevention are all things that come to mind. Quality of life is a huge concern as we don’t want pain or discomfort to increase and have our ability to perform day to day activities, decrease.
The following are importance areas that we need to maintain as we age:
Mobility: This includes joint movement and muscle length/flexibility. Not only does mobility give us flexibility but it also helps prevent acute injuries such as muscle strains.
Strength and muscle control: By having good strength and control, we evenly distribute appropriate load through our joints to reduce wear and tear. It also allows us to perform normal daily tasks with more ease and efficiency.
Balance: Poor balance can lead to injuries. Such injuries can include joint sprains, bone/soft tissue contusions and, in more severe cases, fractures. Balance tends to get less attention than strength and mobility. However, it is very important as poor balance can lead to dependency from others or equipment aids for even simple daily tasks.
Weight Management: Weight management will allow us to have optimal amount of energy to perform our daily tasks. It will prevent us from feeling fatigued too quickly and is beneficial for our overall health. Weight management often involves a good active lifestyle and an appropriate dietary plan.
Maintaining the above doesn’t necessarily require you to join a gym or perform strenuous exercises every day. For some people, this may not be appropriate but for others it may be.
A few suggestions to start to improve certain areas of concern, can include a simple walking program and gentle mobility exercises. However, for some people, walking may be painful on their joints. In this case, hydrotherapy may be a good alternative to reduce weight bearing load but still provide a good strength, mobility and cardiovascular exercise regime. Others may not like getting into a pool or haven’t got access to one. They may prefer an in-land strength program which can be performed either at home or in a gym.
Your physiotherapist will be able to do an assessment to provide you with the best exercise program for you based on your life commitments and current clinical presentation. See your physiotherapist today to be on your way to a better quality of life!