In a little over 10 short years, every Baby Boomer will be over 65 years old and seniors will make up one quarter of the population. That means a lot more gray hair but it also means a whole generation used to being active also being a lot more prone to age-related injuries.
It’s believed our health is the result of four main factors: age, fitness, nutritional health and genetics. There’s not a lot we can do about age and genetics – and we’ve talked about nutrition elsewhere at Shop Talk – so let’s cover a few ways to ensure we stay fit without injuring ourselves as we get older.
A little less pain and gain – When you were younger and invincible, a little pain was par for the course. But as you get into your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, pain can be a warning sign that you shouldn’t ignore. If you feel something’s not right, stop and seek medical attention or help from a health practitioner.
Never stop moving – This may sound like the opposite of the last tip but it’s not. You should never ignore pain, nor should you let it stop you from staying active. Without overdoing it, get out of bed and off your couch and walk, bike, swim, golf or dance – at least two hours a week.
Stay strong – It’s inevitable that you’re going to lose muscle mass as you get older but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight it every step of the way. Building and strengthening lean muscle keeps you healthy, less likely to get injured, burns calories and strengthens your bones. If you’re a gym bunny, great, but you don’t have to be – simple resistance exercises at home can do the trick. Again, speak to a certified trainer or health pro before doing anything out of your comfort zone.
Be smart – Whatever activities you do, remember to use the appropriate sports gear, wear a helmet when it makes sense to, warm up before you work out, cool down and stretch when you’re done, and drink lots and lots of water!
What tips do you have for staying healthy and injury free as you get older? Please share your experiences and ideas with the Shop Talk blog community forum.
Did you know? Preventing falls
In part due to loss of muscle mass, declining vision and balance and medications, falls are the most common cause of injury in people 65+. Be vigilant, stay fit and understand the side effects of the meds you take.