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 when you get older 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 time.
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 as you get
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 really find 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
Remember the slogan - Invest Today for a Healthier Tomorrow!