As we get older, most of us become physically and emotionally weaker, feeling that we are on a slippery slope of decline toward mortality. Our sore muscles and aching joints in the morning only add to our dilemma. However, we tend to forget that mobility is the key to remaining active throughout life; it is the ultimate tool for aging successfully and addressing problems before they become bigger. And this is exactly what physical therapists try to highlight in October, when they celebrate National Physical Therapy Month, with a mission to provide an alternative to costly medication therapies in order to help improve quality of life by encouraging maximum physical mobility.
Physical Therapy: A Blessing for All
Baby boomers are increasingly facing the challenges of aging, with a sedentary lifestyle and lack of activity only adding to their problems, making them susceptible to all kinds of health ailments, including diabetes, arthritis, and coronary disease. There is strong evidence to confirm that people who stay physically active throughout their lives have a lower risk of several health problems, including:
- heart disease
With age, your body degenerates and declines in function, but with physical activity, you can slow that decline. This highlights the role physical activity can play in slowing down the progression of disease and obesity and helping you stay healthy and maintaining your independence.
The lack of physical activity might start a spiral of aches and pains you had never experienced before. Throughout life, you continue to use your body as a machine, often forgetting to take care of it. Well, the crude fact of life is that, as you age, it is crucial to keep up the maintenance of machine (body) parts as your mileage runs higher. It is here that physical activity and mobility can make all the difference to keeping you fit, healthy, and active, without requiring you to follow a long-term prescription medication therapy or undergo surgery.
Stay Active to Age Healthy
No matter what part of the body ails you, you can find solace in physical therapy and experience relief from pain, improvement in motion and enjoy a greater quality of life, keeping mobility problems from aggravating into:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- other such problems that prevents you from being mobile
Working with a physical therapist can help you learn how to properly manage the four major systems of your body, including integumentary, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and musculoskeletal, to maximize mobility.
As you age, your metabolism slows, which makes it important to move more and eat less in order to maintain energy balance and enjoy a healthier state of mind by keeping brain chemicals, such as endorphins, serotonin, and stress hormones, in check. If you want to reduce the risk of mental or physical illness and be able to stay independent into old age, the best mantra is to keep moving and stay active. Moving from a sedentary to an active lifestyle is all that is needed to reap greater health benefits.