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No Such Thing As Old Age

Several weeks ago, my colleague Faith was speaking with a new patient about the history of his back pain. When she asked why he was finally seeking treatment after dealing with his pain for six months, he answered, “Well, I turned 50 this year, so I just figured it was old age.” To which Faith replied, “There’s no such thing as old age.”

Of course she didn’t mean it in the literal sense. For each year we are lucky enough to be alive, every one of us earns another candle on our birthday cake, and over time, those candles do add up. However, it’s an almost universal misconception that an aching, painful body is a normal, direct result of getting older. In reality, your sore back, stiff neck, creaky knees, wobbly hips, etc. can nearly always be traced back to two things: muscle weakness and poor flexibility.

Now it’s true that as we age, our bodies do gradually lose muscle mass and flexibility, but this is not the problem. The problem actually comes down to lack of activity. Adult life is full of responsibilities, such as going to work, caring for children, paying bills, doing laundry, etc, and it’s very common for exercise to get crowded off a person’s to-do list. Then the problem gets exacerbated by our sitting society (in front of the TV, at a computer, in the car…). Pretty soon the lack of activity has left your body stiff, weak, and feeling old before its time.

The good news is there’s an easy solution. You just have to get up and move. Just 30 min of exercise a day – including light cardio (such as walking), gentle stretching, and simple strengthening exercises (like pushups, sit-ups, and lunges) – will help you maintain your muscle mass and flexibility as you age. And remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. If you’re unsure how to start getting your strength and flexibility back, give us a call. We’re just as happy to help you prevent injuries as we are to help you treat them.

So the secret is out. If you want to feel young, you need to exercise. It’s pretty much the fountain of youth at your fingertips, and all it costs is a little time. Keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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