Although many of us are living longer and often remaining healthy much later into life, many people develop mobility difficulties as they age. Decreased mobility can lead to less active lifestyles, and vice versa. When you’re used to walking around your entire life unaided, learning to walk with a walker, cane or even using a wheelchair can be a struggle.
There is a lot an older person can do to help improve mobility, and exercise tops the list. Staying active safely is a core component of supporting overall health and quality of life as we age. In addition, working on balance, learning to use the proper walking aid and maintaining a healthy weight can help seniors with their mobility as they age.
Tips to Improve Your Mobility
Start or Maintain an Active Lifestyle: If you’re older and less active, it’s often hard to incorporate daily exercise into your lifestyle. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re not already doing so, the sooner you start getting active, the sooner you’ll engage your muscles and help maintain your weight, flexibility and overall mobility. And remember, for seniors, an exercise or activity plan should emphasize quality over quantity. Exercise doesn’t have to be a 5-mile run or spinning class. It can include a short stroll around the block, a walk down to the mailbox to check the mail or moving around the kitchen to cook a healthy dinner.
Whenever you engage in an activity, make sure you put safety first so that you don’t injure yourself. Injuries for seniors can impede any progress made on mobility and can cause a serious loss of mobility, depending on the severity of the injury. Be sure to check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.
Work on Your Balance: One of the most important things an older person can do to maintain mobility is to work on balance. Why? A lack of proper balance leads to slips and falls which are especially dangerous for an older person. A fall can set you back months, and if you break bone in the process, your mobility can end up worse than ever before. Proper balance is the key to your mobility, and this balance comes from your core, back and gluteal muscles. NIHSeniorHealth has a list of balance-oriented exercises that are geared towards seniors.
Use the Proper Walking Aid: Of course, walking unassisted is ideal, but if your balance is impaired, it is important that you use a walking aid, such as a cane or a walker, in order to maintain maximum mobility. And be sure to use the right aid for your needs. Using one that offers too much assistance can cause you to rely too heavily on it and avoid working the muscles that you need to keep strong in order to maintain your mobility,
Maintain a Healthy Weight: It is important to maintain a healthy weight to help keep your body functioning properly. Excess weight puts more stress on your joints and can cause difficulty and pain when moving. You need to ensure you’re a healthy weight if you want to maintain optimal mobility.
And of course, if your mobility is impaired, it is important to take care when moving in your home. If you have difficulty walking or regularly use a wheelchair, you might want to consider installing a stairlift, wheelchair lift or even an elevator to help you move safely in your home. For more information on residential and commercial elevators, stairlifts, vertilifts, ramps, and more, visit www.liftavator.com or call (252) 634-1717 today.