From the blog

Aging: Am I doing this right?

Aging is an inevitable fact of life, but what if I could tell you that aging gracefully and being mobile as you age is more in your power than you think? Sure, changes can’t always be “prevented” or “reversed.” It’s never too late to start taking proactive measures to ensure the possibility of maintaining mobility and strength, which will ultimately contribute to happiness later in life. 

And while most people think the limitations won’t start until they are in their 50’s or 60’s, the fact is that by the time you turn 40, your ability to build strength and recover has already begun to slow down.  

Do what you love…

We believe that no one should have to give up the things they love simply because they’re “getting older.”  Throwing a baseball with your kids or grandkids, skiing fresh powder in the winter, golfing and gardening in the summer…these are all things that you should be able to enjoy pain-free, for years to come.

Keeping your body in a condition to do all the things you love is something we are passionate about. So read on to find out what you can start today, and what we can help with to keep you outside the limits of the typical and accepted aging process.  It starts by changing your mind about what’s possible.

Movement is life…

Culturally speaking, we tend to focus on our face and skin in “looking younger,” not “feeling younger.” We seem to accept the norm that as we age, our bodies stop working and start hurting and that there isn’t much we can do to change our outcomes. This is simply not true. Research suggests that staying mobile (exercise, movement and independence) is key to health and well-being for an aging individual.   

One study suggests limitations in mobility is the slippery slope that leads to loss of ability to complete daily activities, such as bathing, making a meal, or putting on clothes. Mobility is a measure, of sorts, of how one is aging. The loss of function or inability to complete daily and routine actions is often accompanied by emotional issues and a mental decline  that leave one depressed, unmotivated and hopeless. 

There’s good news!

The good news is, staying active is the easiest way to slow, or in some circumstances, prevent the problems that can arise later in life.  This doesn’t mean you have to be maxing out weights at the gym, or running a marathon, it simply means keep moving!  Go for a daily walk, take a bike ride, stretch, find the things you enjoy doing that are active and do that.  There are no rules when it comes to staying active.

3 Keys…

There are three main things to pay attention to and take care of as you begin aging: bones, muscles, and joints.  

Bones: Provide structure and support for keeping the body upright, store nutrients, protect our vital organs (kidneys, liver, heart, etc), become less dense as we age

Muscles: Soft tissues that attach to bones (via ligaments and tendons), allow movement of bones. become weaker with age

Joints: Integrate muscles and bones together to make dynamic, multi-directional movement, range of joint movement decreases with age

There are also three key factors in keeping bones, muscles, and joints healthy:

1. Eating a diet that supports your  unique health.

2. Exercising

3. Supplementing as recommended by a medical professional. 

Even a mild or moderate exercise program can assist in the maintenance of flexibility, strength, and balance. Additionally, it is a well-known fact that weight-bearing exercise helps bones remain healthy and strong, and in some cases, can prevent osteoporosis, osteopenia, and other diseases associated with bone degeneration. 

How can massage help?

There is ample research that confirms massage can improve exercise. In short, exercise prevents aging and massage improves exercise. 

The benefits of massage are endless, in regards to exercise. The following is a small portion of the benefits of massage and are applicable to any individual at any age. 

  • Reduces muscle tension – compression, friction, and glides along muscle fibers help muscle bellies return to their resting lengths, which aid in optimal function of muscles tissue. 
  • Promotes relaxation – in other words, reduces stress and stress quickly leads to interruptions in muscles contraction and relaxation. 
  • Reduces swelling – sometimes, exercise can aggravate tissue, which causes swelling. The body reaction to a stimulus and sends blood flow and other cells to the area to protect and help heal the area. 
  • Increases range of motion – relates back to muscle tension – when muscles return to their resting 
  • Prevents injuries  – massage causes brief ischemia (lack of blood flow). Then, when pressure is released, blood flow rushes the area and brings blood flow (oxygen and nutrients) and lymph flow (cleans up debris and old tissue particles). 
  • Can decrease muscles soreness post-exercise. 

What can I do right now?

  1. Ask your health practitioner about supplements or nutrition support that can benefit your tissues and your longterm health. 
  2. Explore a diet that supports your tissues that includes protein – your muscles need protein to perform their functions. 
  3. Find activities you enjoy – walking, running, swimming, weights, yoga, dancing, etc. and be consistent with them. 
  4. Book a massage. You’ll be glad you did!


Resources

https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/4/eTouch/detail/2977/exercise-is-better-with-massage

https://www.nestlehealthscience.com/health-management/aging/maintaining-mobility-as-part-of-healthy-aging

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917161634.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530168/

https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/4/eTouch/detail/2977/exercise-is-better-with-massage