How to Prevent Injuries and Promote Healthy Aging

Posted by Jessica Adams on

There is no denying that we are aging.  It’s happening no matter how hard we try to stop it.  Pain where you never felt it before, or unsuccessful attempts at what used to come so easy.  Our bodies aren’t what they used to be, and they aren’t afraid to let us know.  As we get older our bodies become more fragile as we, unwelcomingly, experience the side effects of aging.  Muscles shrink, tendons become stiff and less tolerable of stress. The metabolism slows down, the body tires quickly, and it takes longer to recover.  These factors make us more prone to injury when we least expect it, and these injuries can be risky and more threatening. This isn’t an overnight thing.  The aging process can take place at different rates for different people. Experiencing negative aging effects also links aging and depression.  Aging can be just as mentally taxing as it is physically.  Your lifestyle has a lot to do with how you will age.  Now, we cannot prevent aging; but we can work to prevent injuries and slow the onset of these negative effects.

 

Stay Active

The very most important thing we can do to prevent injuries and promote healthy aging is to stay active.  Injury prevention exercises keep muscles and joints strong.  If you do not use it, you will lose it.  You do not have to go out and compete in a triathlon or run a marathon.  Aim for 30 minutes a daily exercises that gets your heart rate up, and get active.  Go for a walk, ride a bike, or hit the dance floor.  It can be as simple as taking a dip in the pool. The importance of exercise plays a huge role in keeping our bodies pliable.  It also helps to combat depression side effects and improve our mood.  Get the blood circulating and your muscles moving.


Stretching Routines

Now, that you are up and moving to stay active, it is imperative to remember another large aspect of prevention. Stretching; bend so you don’t break! When participating in moderate activity it is important to stretch out.  Staying loose is key when avoiding injuries.  A full body stretching routine added to your day will make a huge difference.  You will feel more limber and movements will be less strenuous.  If your muscles are tight and contracted, then jumping right into a high intensity activity, without proper stretching, can cause strain or injury to your muscles.  Once you are finished exercising it is just as imperative to have an active “cool down”.  Stretching techniques like these allow your body to recover more quickly from demanding stress on your joints and muscles.  Instead of heading straight to the couch, try doing a few stretches for the muscles you just activated. This will help with soreness you might feel the next day. Stretching can be an exercise in itself.  Practicing low impact yoga helps to stretch and strengthen your muscles.  Try to stretch every day.  Add it to your routine; right when you wake up in the morning, or later in the evening.  Where ever it will fit, and it will not take long to recognize stretching benefits.


Healthy Eating Plans

Another prevention tactic is adapting a good eating habits and being healthy.  Nutrition and health are very important, and do a lot to ease physical changes of aging. Food is fuel for our bodies.  Eating too little will bring your energy level down; which will leave you unmotivated to exert energy. Filling up on empty calories that provide no nutrition robs your body of the necessary nutrients and vitamins it needs to stay strong.  This brings us to calcium.  It is the most important nutrient for bone health.  You probably already know that calcium is good for the bones, but the average person lands far from consuming the daily recommended amount of 1,000-1,200mg (Nutrition and Healthy Eating).  This helps prevent against osteoporosis, or bone loss.  Dark leafy greens, cheese, milk, yogurt, and almonds are just some of the calcium packed foods out there.  Calcium vitamins and supplements can also be used to compensate for the absent nutrients.  Be conscious about making healthy eating choices so that your body is able to retain the nutrients to protect against aging.


Body Intuition

Nobody knows your body like you do.  Listen to it.  If something feels off then trust your judgement.  The mind and body go hand in hand.  It is important to practice that connection to recognize what your body is trying to tell you.  That does not mean to lie down and play dead. You may have to make some modifications.  Staying active is a challenge and life can get in the way, but it is important to know the difference between your body asking for rest and just being lazy.  Rest is just as important when living a healthy lifestyle as staying active when working towards injury prevention.  It is necessary to help rebuild and recover your muscles.


Protective Braces, Supports, and Compression

Lastly, we are lucky to live in a world with a rapidly growing medical field.  Advanced technology and research has kindly provided us with the ability to create and invent tools that aid us in preventing new or recurring injuries.  There are all different types of  braces, supports, compressions, and aids that we have access to. So be sure to take advantage of these.  Talk to your doctor or do some research on the internet about what options you have.  Utilizing a sports knee brace or a patella brace can help avoid athletic injuries.  They can provide added protection to areas that are more prone to injury, or those areas that have been injured in the past.  Someone with a sensitive knee can be suited with the best knee support for them. This will provide stability and movement to take a walk in the park or around the block.  Compression knee sleeves add support and protect against tedious abrasions, blisters, or chaffing.  A compression arm sleeve can protect the same way.  They can also help to reduce soreness and cramping. Another popular support are bamboo sleeves.  These act as compression sleeves, but can be worn at any time.  A bamboo  ankle or wrist compression sleeve can be worn overnight to help joints feel more limber and less achy in the morning.  As we get older it is smart to think ahead about extra support that will help keep us active and reduce the negative effects of aging.


We are aging, and we cannot stop it.  How to prevent aging effects is not complex, and there are ways to make it more enjoyable.  Injuries can bring you down, set you back, and accelerate the aging process. They can cause discouragement and lack of motivation. Not only are injuries physically damaging, but can also be tough to handle emotionally.  It is impossible to stop aging, so it is important to stay active, remember to stretch, make healthy lifestyle choices, listen to your body, and do your research on what braces or supports will help keep you mobile.

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