Ageing is an inevitable part of life. But how many of us are ageing actively? By this I mean, how many of us remain active, or even increase our activity levels as we age?
Our body’s tissues, of which muscles can be the most noticeable to us, change and loose tone and strength as we age. This is usually due to lack of movement.
We live in a society where we are not required to move much at all, so we get into a habit of not moving, and adopt a sedentary lifestyle. We believe that a decline in movement is related to ageing. However, many of us have spent our adult lives not moving, and we rarely consider the transformative effects activity and movement can have on our life, including ageing.
Much research has been done on the protective effects exercise has on our health. It’s clear that our bodies need to move, and as we get older, we shouldn’t be thinking of doing less, but actually doing more to stay active.
Movement not only protects the joints and keeps the muscles strong, it also helps your energy levels, has protective cognitive benefits, and helps with overall mental health and wellbeing. Staying supple and maintaining our flexibility means we can move easier without overstretching and ‘pulling’ any muscles. Balance is another area. Often forgotten about, balance is key to help preventing falls. Balancing exercises strengthen the muscles in the feet, ankles and lower legs, making us more stable when walking.
Exercise doesn’t need to be hard work, and we certainly don’t need to go out and start running marathons. A regular walk every day is a good place to start.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Find a way to keep moving and age actively.