How Physical Activity Impacts Your Health & Aging
We have all heard the saying “60 is the new 40.”
In our experience this rings true in many ways, average lifespan has increased and people are staying active into their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond. With longer lifespans, however, it becomes more important to understand the role physical activity plays in ageing well.
“Abstinence from any form of physical activity was associated with poor healthy ageing trajectories in terms of low baseline scores and fast decline rates. Promoting an active lifestyle appears to play an important role in maintaining health and functioning in older age.”
Citation: Moreno-Agostino, D., Daskalopoulou, C., Wu, YT. et al. The impact of physical activity on healthy ageing trajectories: evidence from eight cohort studies. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 17, 92 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-020-00995-8
5 areas of physical activity that we incorporate daily in our rehab services and class offerings:
- Movement quality
Here at MOVE TO MOVE, we strongly believe a combination of these areas will have a positive impact on healthy ageing in more ways than one.
As we age our range of motion deteriorates if we do not put specific work into joint health and body control. Often older adults do not know how much range of motion they have lost until it is hard to do things like walking, climbing stairs, getting dressed, reaching to a high shelf, or playing with their grandchildren.
At MOVE TO MOVE our clinicians assess mobility by comparing your active to passive joint range of motion to determine your usable range of motion. From here your therapist develops a treatment plan to address the deficits they find.
We also offer weekly group mobility classes such as KINSTRETCH. These classes are instructed by our rehab professionals; Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists.
Kinstretch is a movement enhancement system that develops maximum body control, flexibility, and usable ranges of motion.
Overall, the goal of Kinstretch is to enhance the capacity of the joints and surrounding tissue in order to ready the body for performance and the demands of everyday life, while decreasing the risk of injury.
Movement Quality (Spine Work)
There is an old Chinese Proverb that says “you are as old as your spine” and this rings true in our experience.
As we age it is not uncommon to experience increased aches, pains and joint stiffness around the spine. There are many other debilitating conditions that can manifest in the spine as we get older.
At MOVE TO MOVE our rehab professionals have a strong focus on spine health. We understand there is a need for stability in the spine but at the same time we know that the ability to move and control your spine is critical to increase your potential for movement as well as your overall health and body function.
Coordination is “the ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.”
“Changes in coordination are less related to muscles and more related to the brain and nervous system. Multiple brain centres need to be well coordinated to allow you to do everything from hitting a golf ball to keeping a coffee cup steady as you walk across a room. This means that the wiring of the brain, the so-called white matter that connects the different brain regions, is crucial.”
At MOVE TO MOVE we draw on elements from dance, martial arts, object manipulation and play to improve the coordination of our clients. Interactive partners games and activities keep it interesting and allow a fun approach to this critical area.
Having good balance means being able to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving or remaining still. Good balance is important to help you get around, stay independent, and carry out daily activities.
As we age, our ability to balance declines and risk of falling increases.
At MOVE TO MOVE we train balance in many ways, including railwork, footwork, locomotion patterns, and interactive games.
Current research finds the rate of muscle atrophy to be around 1% per year after age 50, which has an exponential (continually increasing) effect when considered over time. This phenomenon is known as sarcopenia — a loss of muscle mass and function as we get older. This decrease in muscle mass comes from several factors, including:
- hormonal changes
- declines in activity
- an unbalanced diet that’s low in calories and protein
Sarcopenia is strongly related to falls and overall frailty, so it’s an important factor to address as you get older.
At MOVE TO MOVE we use methods such as traditional weight lifting, callisthenics, gymnastic training, and blood flow restriction training, to keep our clients strong and conditioned throughout their time with us. Choosing an appropriate difficulty level based on each person’s ability is a key factor when prescribing these exercises.
No matter what your age is, we hope you gained some insight on how to keep your body working well. We hope you continue to find ways to realize the potential and joy that an active lifestyle can provide. If you need extra guidance or are looking for a community of like-minded people to continue your journey with, reach out to us, we would be happy to hear and work with you.