Healthy Habits for Mobility and Balance in Older Adulthood

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Maintaining mobility and balance in later years is crucial for quality of life. Physical and occupational therapists, experts in movement enhancement, adhere to practices that promote graceful aging. This article explores their go-to habits for staying strong and agile in the face of time’s passage.

Resistance Training: A Cornerstone

Physical therapists unanimously emphasize resistance training as a cornerstone of maintaining strength with age. Regular strength exercises combat age-related muscle loss, bolster bone strength, and enhance overall functionality. “Resistance training helps my joints feel less stiff, boosts my energy, and improves my mood,” states Karena Wu, a physical therapist.

Protein: A Vital Nutrient

Protein intake takes precedence in the dietary regimen of Chris Erickson, a physical therapist. Lean protein sources at every meal assist in muscle preservation and satiety. This prevents age-related weight gain and supports the body’s energy production.

Cardiovascular Health: Staying Active

Regular aerobic exercise is paramount for cardiovascular health, supporting daily activities. Physical therapist Tanner Neuberger advocates for 150 minutes of meaningful exercise weekly. “Even brisk walking for 5-10 minutes daily can significantly reduce mortality risks,” he notes.

Yoga: Flexibility and Balance

Shannon Leggett, a physical therapist, incorporates yoga regularly into her routine. Yoga enhances flexibility, balance, and reduces the risk of falls. “Sun salutation variations are excellent for transitioning on and off the floor,” Leggett explains. Similar benefits can be derived from Pilates.

Post-Dinner Walks: Improved Sleep

Occupational therapist Brittany Ferri emphasizes the benefits of nightly post-dinner walks for sleep quality. These walks aid digestion, reducing disruptions during sleep. “They also help me unwind and fall asleep faster,” Ferri says.

Adequate Sleep: Energy and Recovery

Sufficient rest is essential for recovery and energy levels. Physical therapist Chris Erickson prioritizes 8 hours of nightly sleep, aiming for consistency in his sleep-wake cycle. “Adequate rest ensures I have the energy for regular workouts,” Erickson adds.

Stress Management: A Holistic Approach

Stress management is not only beneficial for emotional well-being but also for longevity. “Walks in nature, mindful meditation, and yoga can mitigate stress levels,” says Neuberger. “Daily rituals, such as practicing gratitude and spending time with loved ones, can also make a positive impact,” he concludes.

**Credit and Rights:** OMG I Yoga

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