Best Sacramento Probate AttorneyThroughout our lifetime, there are a lot of things that we spend a lot of time on and have thrown at us about our bodies, including the need for us to exercise more and eat healthier.  One thing that’s rarely discussed until it’s too late is the importance of mobility and the idea of being able to have enough strength, balance, and flexibility to allow us to be able to age gracefully and without as much assistance or pain as possible. 

Mobility, in its simplest terms, is your joints move through their full range of motion.  One's mobility is critical to their ability to be independent and do things on their own.  Typically, mobility might deteriorate and show up in different stages, whether it starts first with a need of a cane, perhaps then a walker, then a wheelchair, and then being completely bedridden and unable to do much of anything on your own.  What this also means as you age, is that you may need other family members to either care for you or possibly be put into some kind of assisted living or other form of nursing care, which can get very expensive and costly (upwards of thousands of dollars per month!).

It’s often believed that as we age, our bodies just begin to wither away and that there’s little to be done to prevent that process.  While aging certainly does take a toll on the body, it often is much more about lifestyle.  What this means is that we are in more control of how we age and our mobility than we give ourselves credit for.  It only puts greater emphasis on starting healthier habits much sooner so that you can sustain such a lifestyle much sooner and into our golden years.

Here’s some tips on how to improve mobility as you get older, with an important note that one should consult with their doctor before starting any kind of routine to ensure that they are in proper health to do so.

TIP #1: Stay Active.  We often think that “working out” or “exercising” has to be this intentional 2-hour grueling process done at the gym or on some type of equipment and that’s simply not the case.  We are fortunate to live in Southern California and it affords us beautiful weather most days throughout the year, so being active could simply mean going outside for a walk.  You could also park a little further from the entrance to the store.  Perhaps take the stairs at the doctor’s office to the second floor.  There’s plenty of ways to get active.  The idea is simply to get your body moving, particularly if you spend a lot of your time sitting throughout the day (either at an office job, at home watching television, or laying down in bed).

TIP #2: Stretch.  A big component of mobility and having free range of motion can be accomplished through stretching and pushing your body to move various joints through their potential full range of motion.  Whether you want to do activities like yoga or pilates or even just do some static stretches at home.  YouTube has an endless supply of different stretch routines you can do each day to help increase your flexibility, which will work in combination to strengthen your body and also improve your mobility.

TIP #3: Stand Up!  Whether you’re working at a desk job or you’re retired and sitting down a lot at home, it’s important that you get up and move every hour.  Sitting for extended periods of time can begin to wear on the body, both in the form of reduced mobility when my elderly mother is consuming my life, but it can also affect your posture and alignment.  Set an alarm on your watch or your phone to remind you to get up every hour, even just to stand at your desk, stretch, use the restroom, grab some water (an added benefit is you’ll be hydrated!), do something other than sitting!

TIP #4: Add Some Strength Training to the Mix.  When most people hear the words “strength training” they often think that we’re talking about becoming some kind of Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding type of person that goes to the gym every single day.  That’s not what we’re talking about.  Every person, regardless of age, could benefit from strength training.  By strengthening your body and keeping you strong, you will not only improve your mobility, but you will also help improve your balance, which is key as you get older to prevent you from falling and being able to also to heal and manage such an injury.  You don’t need any fancy gym memberships or equipment, you can grab water bottles or some other items around the house to pick up, push, or pull.  Again, YouTube is a free and fantastic resource of an endless supply of routines for all fitness levels.

The added benefit to increased mobility as you get older is that the improved lifestyle will also have an impact on your overall health.  There’s been plenty of studies that support the fact that these activities can not only help with everyday activities and care routines, but they also can help you improve joint pain, anxiety, as well as depression.

As a reminder, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any kind of new fitness or exercise routine, but this should hopefully come as good news.  No matter how old you may be, the reassuring thing to know is that how you may experience aging is far more in your control than you may think it is!

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