Health spotlight: How to avoid injuries as you age

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.

29 thoughts on “Health spotlight: How to avoid injuries as you age

  1. I walk a lot every week, go up and down the stairs where I live everyday. I eat healthy try to cook alot. Fresh vegetables, and fruits.

  2. Water aerobics and water walking is what I recommend for Baby Boomers. I am a part-time instructor and find all age groups benefit from the water. I have many clients over the age of 90 who enjoy the benefits of stretching, walking and improving balance in the water.

  3. The older I get, the more I see the wisdom of taking it easy and slow when it comes to exercising.
    I just injured my left leg from just stepping on it the wrong way and it took 7 months to heal properly.
    When you are older, it just doesn’t take much to hurt yourself, so take it easy and take care of your body.

  4. Meeting the challenge of age is also met with the challenge of RA arthritis for me. I have taught myself to tolerate some amount of pain I can live with just so I dont stop doing the things I love to do. It will always be doubly challenging!!!

  5. A 40-50 minute walk daily is easy for almost anyone. Try your local home improvement stores (heated and air conditioned and flat) or if a nearby shopping center has covered walking, that is also good and the center overhang keeps you out of most of the sun to help reduce chances of skin cancer.

  6. It’s hard leaving tips because I’m living the hazards of getting old myself. I never understood how older people could just lose their balance, fall, and break a hip. Well, now I know why myself. Your balance falters as you get older. It’s nothing we have done, it just happens. Always move slow, think before you act, and always have something to hold onto.

  7. I have found that exercise has been the best thing for me. I had a brain tumor removed the last of October and was told I would be in ICU for two days and then in hospital for two weeks. Surgeon said that since I had such good health and was doing so well, they cut the ICU stay to one day and only one week in hospital.
    I exercise daily for at least an hour and a half, take vitamins, try to eat healthy and have been rewarded with very good health. No colds and no flu!!!

  8. I suggest that the baby boomers start wearing “compression socks /sleeves” to avoid any foot problems such as Plantar Fasciitis or heel spurs. This especially would hold true for females who wear high heels or shoes/sandals that are uncomfortable,yet beautiful. It happened to me 2 years ago and all I can do is wear insoles or compression socks to help me walk without pain. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s no fun,and once you get a heel spur,it doesn’t go away.

Comments are closed.