No one can escape the aging process. But aging does not need to be stressful! The key is to move every day and stay as strong for as long as you can. Remember, the human body is designed for movement, and muscles are not meant to be inactive. Aging is no excuse to stop moving!
Just like any other muscle, your heart functions best when challenged. Walk, swim, jog, use a treadmill, stair climbing machine, or some other weight-bearing movement in order to include moderate cardiovascular conditioning in your daily program. Aerobic exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, and keeps the arteries more flexible. In addition, aerobic exercise is one of the best approaches for handling stress. It also prevents constipation and is essential for overall good health.
In addition to aerobic exercise, include some strength training to build stronger bones and slow bone loss. Include stretching exercises. As we grow older our muscles contract; they lose fiber and shrink in size and density. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are all excellent approaches for muscles, balance, and body core development. Consider searching for a massage therapist if you can afford a regular deep tissue massage.
Additional Considerations on Aging
In addition to aging muscles, bones also become smaller in size and density, which causes people to become shorter. Bones also weaken and become more susceptible to fractures. Flexibility is affected so people become less coordinated, which in turn, causes difficulty in balancing. When arising in the morning, sit up for a moment. Place your hands on your knees to assist getting out of bed. Losing one’s balance becomes a regular challenge. Be mindful of your balance, especially when getting dressed. A simple procedure is to sit or always lean on something when standing on one foot when putting on slacks.
To save tension on your back, engage in two positions when bending: (1) bend your knees, and (2) get in the habit of extending your rear end as far as possible. These two practices will prevent undue stress on your back and will help prevent back problems. Remember that your legs, the body’s strongest muscles, should do any lifting—not your back. When lifting a heavy object bring the object as close to your body as possible.
A discussion about movement and age would not be complete with mentioning the voice. The voice of an elderly person is easily discernible from the sound of a younger person. The sounds we make require muscle movement and, as with any muscle, they atrophy when not used. Reading out loud is a simple procedure to employ daily—even for a short time. Vocalization keeps your brain and vocal cords active.
Tip: Aging is a natural process. Keep your body active as you grow older and the stress of aging will be greatly reduced.
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