10 ways to stay mobile as you age
Staying mobile is essential to maintaining your physical and mental wellness. Adequate mobility preserves your muscle, bone, and joint health, which naturally declines with age.
Additionally, maintaining your mobility can help you continue doing the things you enjoy, such as your favorite hobbies.
You can reverse age-related changes to muscles, bones, and joints. By starting to live an active lifestyle, not only will you feel better with everyday movements, but you’ll also be able to get back to the life and activities you enjoy.
10 tips for maintaining lifelong mobility
To practice healthy aging, follow these tips:
1. Practice stretching
As we age, stretching becomes more and more important — and vital to our mobility and muscle recovery. Stretching helps your body stay flexible and offers a greater range of movement in your joints.
By stretching for 10 minutes a day, you can gradually release tension and elongate your muscles. As an alternative to stretching, try using a foam roller.
When you hit a tight spot, roll it out, slowly, for 30 to 60 seconds until dissipates. Regular foam rolling loosens fascia tissue, which prevents injury and helps you stay mobile.
2. Go for a daily walk
Walking may seem like a simple way to stay active, but you’d be surprised how difficult it can be for some people to walk for long periods. Start by bringing your friends along for a walk. Or listen to some of your favorite tunes, audiobooks or podcasts.
Walking is a low-impact exercise, and being in the fresh air can also be beneficial for your mental well-being. If you sometimes lose your balance, start by walking close to your home. Even short walks throughout the day can stretch your muscles and even improve your breathing.
3. Improve balance and coordination
Improving your balance and coordination is key to preventing falls that many older adults experience. This is often due to lost hip muscle power and mobility.
A few activities to help improve coordination. Light weight-training can better your balance. Quickstep dances and other footwork exercises plus grip strength can help too.
4. Try low impact cardio
Cardio exercise promotes a healthy cardiovascular system, which increases longevity and keeps you mobile longer. Swimming i.e. helps keep the pressure off your joints while keeping your heart rate up.
Indoor cycling and treadmills can also increase your heart rate while minimizing wear-and-tear on your joints.
5. Build muscle strength
Strength training is an excellent way to build and preserve your muscle mass. Grip, hips, and patterns especially, as after 40 people tend to lose muscle mass and strength. Consider shifting strength training from heavy lifting to lighter pattern-based training.
Try exercises based on common functional patterns such as pushing, pulling, lunging, lifting, lowering, and carrying. And instead of splitting up the week's strength work into different body parts, work through the whole body on each strength day.
Before beginning exercise, try a dynamic warm-up to prevent injury.
Warm-ups are an easy and gentle way to get your body ready to move within a couple of minutes. Remember, it’s not supposed to be difficult, but rather a simple way to loosen up your joints and prevent injuries.
7. Cool down
Cooling down is an essential practice for any well-rounded fitness regime—especially if your goal is to maintain mobility.
Cooling down after working your muscles helps keep them from stiffening up after exercise and is a healthy way to transition you back into your day. Combine your stretching with deep breathing to calm your central nervous system.
8. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is a common contributor to muscle and joint stiffness, and when it becomes a chronic issue, it can lead to developing spinal health and joint conditions.
To prevent inflammation and help your muscles and joints maintain their integrity, try eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Certain foods are considered natural anti-inflammatories and can help nourish your muscles and joints. Tomatoes, nuts, olive oil, spinach, kale, berries and fatty fish are excellent foods to incorporate into your diet.
9. Practice proper posture
Keeping your spine in aneutral posture is essential for maintaining mobility and strength.
When you slouch, your back and neck muscles get overworked, leading to neck and shoulder strain, back pain and even joint damage.
10. Supplement your nutrients
- As we get older, our bodies need different nutrient levels to help keep our muscles and bones healthy. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D can help build and maintain bone density.
- For decades physicians in Japan have used high doses of vitamin K2 to prevent bone loss and protect against fractures. Vitamin K2 improves bone health by restoring balance to the process of bone breakdown and formation, favoring new bone growth.
- Super K is a bestselling vitamin K formula for bone and heart health. It contains vitamin K1, K2, MK-4 and MK-7 to support anti-calcification of your cardiovascular system and promote strong bones.
- Nutrients that support vitamin K2 are calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, manganese, silicon, and boron.
- Other supplements also address mobility issues. Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory, and taking these supplements can help reduce joint and muscle swelling and discomfort.