The Ability to Move Important
The Reuters Health news agency recently reported on a study that included 424
adults in their 70s and 80s. The adults had trouble walking without assistance and
were considered at risk of disability. The study showed that "older adults who find
it difficult to walk without assistance may see their overall quality of life
suffer. Researchers found that older men and women with impaired mobility --
including slowed movement and problems with balance and strength -- had a poorer
health-related quality of life than a comparison group of adults the same age
without these problems."
Mobility More Important Than Health
Dr. Erik J. Groessl of the VA San Diego Healthcare system, found that compared to a
group of healthy older adults from a previous study, his study participants reported
a lowered quality of life. Dr. Groessl went on to say, "It's not surprising that
mobility problems would have such an effect. But what's 'interesting,' he told
Reuters Health, is that mobility was a more significant determinant of quality of
life than co-existing medical conditions." Keeping that in mind, let's look at what
you can do to keep your mobility and independence.
Independence is important in maintaining a high quality of life. Think about the
last time your car broke down and what a mess it was trying to find a ride to the
repair shop. One of the basic fears of getting older is losing the ability to do the
simple things in life. Getting older doesn't have to be the scary scenario you may
envision. Maintaining an active lifestyle is the best way to preserve a high quality
of life and your personal independence. The sooner you start a well balanced
activity program, the less difficulty you'll have with driving, walking, bending over,
tying your shoes and getting out of a chair. Starting activity early conditions
your body and sends it healthy signals over a lifetime. If you already notice a loss
of mobility, getting into the right activity now can help rehabilitate your body over
Think of Your Health as an Investment
Aging gracefully, as it is sometimes called, requires that you make an investment
in your health today. Consider your health as an asset or investment. Ask yourself
what would you do if your health was money? Would you squander it, put it in your
mattress or let it grow? What is your health investment strategy going to be?
Like money in the bank that gains interest, a well balanced activity program pays health
dividends now and when you get older.
Getting more active, eating a healthier diet and reducing stress is a good investment
in your health. You'll maintain your mobility and independence as you age by improving
your balance, strength, coordination and stamina. It's not that your body can't
improve if you are older and start later, it can. It just takes longer. Remember, your
investments grow but they take time; the same for your body. Your mobility and
health will improve, but it takes time. Just like with investing, the sooner you
start your health investing strategy, the faster your health improves and the sooner
you get to reap the rewards.
How to Keep Your Body Moving
Activity is fun! If that hasn't been your experience then either you don't make it
a social time to laugh and gab with your friends or you haven't found an activity
that is right for you. The best strategy is to try sports or activities that you think
might be really fun. Use your workouts at the health club to improve your base level of
conditioning. If you are stronger, more balanced, have better stamina and are more
flexible, you'll enjoy your activity more.
Remember the slogan, Invest Today for a Healthier Tomorrow!