HEALTH CHALLENGES AS WE AGE

 

Many of us will experience or are experiencing weight gain/weight loss, arthri- tis, sleep deprivation, fragile bone (osteopenia/osteoporosis), and balance issues. These are normal signs of aging, however, they can surprise us and come on very quickly. To slow down the aging process, there are a few things that you can do to help this process go a little smoother.

Weight Gain/ Weight Loss

It is important to fuel your body with healthy nutrients. I advise my clients to eat breakfast every morning. You have been fasting all night and breakfast will help break that fast. Aim to eat a protein and a complex carb to start your day energized in a healthy way. An exam- ple would be eggs and a piece of whole wheat toast. Eat snacks in between your main meals. Aim to get the colors of the rainbow, (great antioxidants) fruits and vegetables for snacks. Lunch and dinner should consist of a protein and a green. An example is bean soup and a salad. Stay hydrated and drink water. Exercise everyday for 30 minutes. Stay active! 

Arthritis

Also called joint inflammation can cause pain and stiffness that can wors- en with age. Staying active is the key! Don't let your muscles get stiff. It may be as simple as squeezing a therapy ball everyday to improve wrist strength or doing simple neck and shoulder stretches, such as shoulder shrugs and rolls to release stiffness. This release can help you in day to day activities, such as turning your head when driv- ing your car. Applying ice for 30 min- utes and applying heat can help with joint stiffness. Massages also help re- lease tension and muscle soreness.

Sleep Deprivation

The primary signs include excessive daytime sleepiness and daytime impair- ment such as reduced concentration, slower thinking, and mood changes. Keeping the mind and body active during the day with positive activities can help the body fall asleep faster at bedtime. If you struggle, try falling asleep or tricking your body and lying down in a spot that you normally do not sleep in. Try reading to relax or have the television on in the background at a low volume with a relax- ing show such as Planet Earth. Listening to sound wave music, lavender scents and warm baths help the body relax before bedtime as well. Wind down and keep a set routine every night.

Fragile Bones

Osteopenia is a condition where the body does not make new bone as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle. New bone creation does not keep up with old bone removal.

Weight bearing exercise can help pre- vent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones. Women, in particular (pri- marily small boned, 65 or older, and who are postmenopausal) are most at risk. Aim to consume calcium and vitamin D. Get a Bone Mineral Density test at your doctor to stay on top of your bone health

Balance

Incorporate balance exercises into your daily routine to prevent falls, im- prove coordination, and prevent inju- ry. Simple exercises such as balancing on one leg everyday for 30 seconds can improve your balance coordination. As we age, many may experience vertigo, a sensation of feeling off balance. Dizzy spells can occur. By practicing balance exercises, we are more apt to recover or catch ourselves from falling. Balance boards and Bosu balls are great pieces of equipment to test your skills. At Baptist East Milestone, we have the trainers and equipment to help you safely secure your balance


Posted on 2021-07-09 by Alison Cardoza
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