As we get older than unfortunately our mobility will get increasingly limited. However there are several measures than can be taken which will help keep you mobile and independent.
Regular stretching helps to ensure that your limbs can retain a full range of movement. It doesn’t have to be frequent nor heavy. The static stretches used when warming up and cooling down will give you adequate flexibility. If you want to improve your flexibility then exercises such as Yoga and Pilates will help. Make sure you choose a class run by a reputable instructor and remember that while stretches should be to the point of discomfort, they should never be painful.
Even if you hate strenuous forms of exercise, walking will be a great help. Not only does it keep your muscles moving but it can help ward of Alzheimer’s, and let you discover interesting new places to go. If you walk with some weights then you get even more benefits. The best part of walking is that it can be integrated into your daily routine. Take stairs instead of lifts, walk to the shops rather than driving and you will feel the benefits.
Weight training not only maintains your strength but also helps to protect your bones from osteoporosis. You don’t need to aim for a bodybuilder’s body or be able to lift 100 pound weights with ease. But if you task your muscles with lifting heavier weights than you are used to, you will find that performing everyday tasks becomes easier. However weight training can be damaging if not done right.
Make sure that when you start you train with free weights under the supervision of a trained professional. The fancy machines at your gym are great for training individual muscle groups, but don’t give you the range of movement which free weights do. This range is vital for everyday tasks such as carrying your shopping or putting up shelves.
With weight training it’s very important not to start too heavy. You should be able to perform a full range of movement with that weight for every repetition. So for example if you do a bench press the bar should go down to touch your chest and then extended as far as possible without locking your arms.
If you are really struggling then it is worthwhile investing in one of a number of different mobility aids depending upon you needs. Grab bars situated near areas where you are in danger of slipping such as the shower will give you a peace of mind even if you never use them. If you find the stairs difficult then a home stair lift will help you maintain independence and mean that you can avoid the hassle and stress of moving to house without stairs.
About the author: Daniel Frank is a blogger from the UK and who writes regularly on subjects related to sport and disability. He is also currently working as an online marketer on behalf of a stairlift manufacturer that specialises in supplying mobility aids like home stair lifts.