It’s probably pretty safe to say that no one looks forward to getting old; however, the alternative is even worse.
Aging is something that none of us can avoid, and the aging process is often accompanied by conditions that begin to limit our mobility, including a feeling of stiffness and soreness.
In many cases, the soreness and stiffness become a self-fulfilling prophecy as you begin to cut back on moving, which makes the stiffness worse, which makes you move less, which….you get the idea.
How well or badly you age depends upon a number of factors:
- Your genes; some people seem to stay young forever, while others are old in their fifties.
- The work you do can also impact the quality of your aging – while physically challenging jobs can cause direct injury, sitting immobile for long hours every day is also detrimental.
- Chronic illness can make you old before your time.
The Impact of Aging
As our bodies age over the years, certain unmistakable changes occur, which often manifest themselves not only in a feeling of stiffness, but also as aches and pains.
While these changes are natural, they are also unpleasant and can cause differing levels of disability:
- Cartilage provides a sort of cushion between joints, but as you age cartilage thins and becomes stiffer. Arthritis can develop when the cartilage is completely gone.
- Your muscles will atrophy to some extent as you age. The fibers that make up your muscles will become smaller, and the rate at which the muscle fibers are replaces will slow.
- The nervous system also takes something of a hit, and can affect how well the muscles are able to work, slowing response time down.
- Loss of bone tissue can lead to osteoporosis, which can then lead to bone fractures. While the loss of bone tissue is more pronounced in women after they go through menopause, men also will suffer from bone loss as they become older.
Combating Age-Related Stiffness
It all sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it, all the deterioration you can experience as you enter your golden years. Well, it really doesn’t have to be that way at all, you can ‘stay younger longer’ by taking a more proactive stance as regards your lifestyle and health. Becoming a bent over, decrepit old man or woman is not inevitable, and even people in their 90s can remain active and alert.
Exercise is one of the biggest factors in keeping you young longer. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Use it or lose it” and this certainly applies in this case.
- Using your muscles through exercise such as walking and weights will help to keep your muscles stronger and prevent deterioration. Even if you’ve slacked off for years, and have become weak, exercise can help to restore lost muscle tissue – just remember to start sensibly and slowly and work up to a more strenuous exercise routine.
- Exercise helps to keep your bones strong and delay the onset of osteoporosis. The rate of mineral loss from bone tissue slows dramatically once you start to exercise.
- Regular exercise increases circulation, which means that more oxygenated blood will be delivered to all parts of your body.
- Dancing will help to improve your balance and make it less likely that you will fall and possibly fracture a bone. The ‘Twist’ will actually make your joints more flexible, too.
If you want a really winning combination, why not add regular massage to your anti-aging program? Massage provides a multitude of benefits that can help you to feel better, become more active, and keep the effects of aging at bay.
- Massage increases blood circulation, which not only benefits blood flow to your muscles and joints, but it helps remove fluids that may have accumulated in your body. If you’ve ever awakened with a swollen, painful knee, this is because fluids have built up in the joint overnight; massage will help these to drain off.
- Needless to say, sore and stiff muscles will be loosened and warmed by massage. The increased blood flow to the muscles will also help to ‘feed’ those muscle cells and fibers.
- Your overall flexibility will increase as massage therapy helps to remove stiffness from joints.
- Pain will often keep you from exercising as you should. Regularly scheduled massages will encourage the release of ‘feel good’ endorphins which will reduce pain and make you more likely to hit the gym.
Age related physical deterioration isn’t inevitable, and you can take positive steps, through massage therapy and exercise to stay young and active longer.
For any more information feel free to get in touch.