It’s what you’re used to doing all your life–from the way you put your feet down getting out of bed, to the way you place the glasses on the shelf when you put the dishes away.
These learned habits allow us to navigate life much easier. Imagine if you had to relearn the movement patterns of buttoning your shirt every week.
The connective tissue binding our bones and muscles is very tough stuff. It has to be, of course, to withstand the punishment inflicted by the marvelous movement it enables us to enjoy throughout our lifetime.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these patterns are changing–limbs aren’t necessarily moving with the same smoothness as before.
Focus your attention on the fact that the course of your movements has changed as well.
While this is not news to you, I want you to understand your need for increasing your awareness of how these changes affect the safety of your mobility.
I will share with you one specific example, trusting that you will consider your own unique needs in the process.
He is 81 years old and has a tremendous will to improve. We are working together to strengthen his legs and hips for safety and mobility. A significant concern centers on the movement patterns of his lower leg and foot. As he lifts his left leg up, even slightly off the floor, his foot begins to move toward the centerline of his body. The connective tissue at the knee has, over the years, lost its range of motion–but not symmetrically. This is part of the reason (there can be others) that we move differently and with increasing difficulty as we age.
The safety concern is that when he sets that left foot down when getting out of bed, it automatically puts him on the outside edge of his foot and greatly increases the risk of a fall.
Improvement is definitely possible, but because the primary cause is the tough and durable connective tissue, change can only be accomplished by consistent efforts over time using targeted stretching movements.
Muscles respond rapidly to exercise. Within a matter of a few weeks Seniors can make significant strength gains on a well designed resistance training program.
Improvements in range of motion require a different mindset–months of consistent effort.
The overwhelming message for all of my readers is this:
The most neglected part of health and wellness, in my opinion, is joint integrity and Range of Motion.
Begin now to redesign the way you are aging by using the proper tools of exercise to improve.
To Your Health and Wellness,