How To Stay Physically Active After You Turn 50

Many people move to Penticton to enjoy hiking our trails, swimming in our lakes or simply walking around the weekend markets in the summertime. We enjoy a nice pace to life, while enjoying our beautiful surroundings. Penticton has so much to offer, but sadly many patients we see daily in our clinic who are over 50 are struggling to enjoy our wonderful city.

Over the years, we have helped untold amounts of 50-and-above year old’s keep active and doing what they love to do, so read on to discover the top 5 tips you can do to stay active and healthy after 50!

Keep moving

Its very easy to hit a certain age and feel like you don’t want to do as much as you once did. Maybe you have a little less energy, or something is aching a bit, and you put off doing whatever you were going to do because of this. However, this is a slippery slope, as you don’t get stiff because you get old, you get old because you get stiff. Keeping active is key, as you naturally lose muscle mass and joint mobility as you age.

If you don’t use it, you lose it, and progressively over time the loss of muscle and joint movement can progress and become worse. By keeping active, you will help keep your muscles strong and your joints mobile.

Having said all of that, this brings us onto our next point…

Pace yourself

Because you’re not 17 anymore 😉

Jokes aside, quite often we want to keep up with our activities like we did when we were younger, especially if you’re just retired and have more time on your hands to play with. And maybe you can keep up like before, which is great. But if you’re finding that your back is hurting after playing 18 holes of golf 5 times a week, maybe your body is telling you something isn’t quite working properly and you need to go a little easier, or get your back assessed by a professional. Remember, as you get into your fifth decade it is normal to lose muscle mass and joint mobility, so finding that balance of activity is important. Ultimately, it will give you the best chance of performing your hobbies for many years to come.

Watch your diet

There is a popular saying which goes ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. So while you may not be looking to achieve a full blown 6-pack (and fair play if you are), watching your waistline almost certainly will help decrease aches and pains and help you move better. While arthritis is a normal age-related change that occurs naturally in our bodies, studies show that being just 10 pounds overweight increases the force going through your knees by 30-60 pounds with each step you take! In fact, obese women are 4 times as likely to have osteoarthritis in their knees, and obese men are 5 times more likely. Essentially, even a small loss of weight can reduce knee pain, and pain in other areas as well. It’s not to say that weight is the only factor that causes pain when you reach 50, but it can certainly play an important role.

Don’t keep putting it off

One of the most frequent comments we hear from our 50+ patients is that they have had their issue on and off for many years; quite often, they can not even remember for how long for! We know that if you come in to see a therapist in the early days of an injury, or sooner rather than later when your pain flares up, that quite often we can resolve the problem in a timely manner. And if you can resolve your issue quicker, you are more likely to be able to keep up with what you want to be doing, and will avoid compounding problems down the line. You’ve worked hard your entire life to get to this point and you owe it to yourself to be able to enjoy your 50’s (and beyond!)

Stand up!

One of the most common reasons for people aged 50+ to visit our clinic is because they have back pain. And one of the most common reasons for having back pain is because people generally just sit down for too long!

When you spend any amount of time sitting, the muscles around the back of your hips and lower back are being stretched and strained, and the joints in your spine are having extra pressure applied to them.

These two issues can lead to muscle becoming tender and sore, and pressure being applied to discs and nerves in your back. In 2021, it is not uncommon for people to be working from home or generally spending more time in a sitting position, so simply standing up for a few minutes every hour, or purchasing a small table-top standing desk can really make a difference for your back.

I hope that you have found these tips helpful, and that they help you keep active and healthy. If you have any specific questions you would like answering, please feel free to email us at info@pentictonphysiotherapy, or call at 250-493-1152. If you are ready to make a positive change, you can book online with one of our therapists by clicking here.

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