My friend Mariah works closely with senior population through her work with AARP. We recently had a brief discussion on the topic of again and physical activity. I think Mariah knew what my opinion was going to be before we even got into the discussion.
My short response was this:
“If there are 80 year olds running marathons and 30 year olds complaining of chronic pain, then is our ‘age’ really the issue?”
I like to say, some people grow up and some people just grow old! As it relates to physical activity and aging, the key point to remember is that the physical deficits we begin to realize in our 20’s and 30’s are essentially the same deficits we will experince in our 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The biggest difference is if we didn’t begin to correct these issues earlier in life, the work to correct them later may require a little more patience.
If a person has never been instructed on where to begin, I always recommend the following:
1. Work to improve balance
2. Improve flexibility of the front of the hips (hip flexors)
3. Improve flexibilty of the back of the hips (buttocks region)
Our seniors should work with a qualified physical therapist, personal trainer or doctor to begin improving these ares of concern.
I will post videos to demonstrate some of these exercises in a future blog post.