20 Jan Enjoy More Mobility and Independence by Keeping Up Your Strength
Here at Friends for Life Homecare Service, we know that no two of our in-home health care clients are the same. And there are all kinds of reasons for that. But we know one thing is true for everyone, being able to maintain mobility and independence relies on your ability to maintain your strength.
“Some 80-year-olds have trouble navigating stairs, while others are running races. The key is figuring out what’s within your control so you can remain robust and independent for as long as possible,” says Consumer Reports in a write up on how to maintain strength as you age.
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D., a professor in applied health sciences, thinks everyone should get a new pair of sneakers along with a gym membership when they retire. Chodzko-Zajko, who is also the dean of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told Consumer Reports, “This idea of taking it easy or phasing out activity is absolutely contradictory to what’s in people’s best interests.”
After doing their homework and consulting the experts, Consumer Reports developed a simple plan for maintaining and perhaps boosting your strength, regardless of your age:
Step 1: Get Moving
Consumer Reports says that, according to the Physical Activity Guideline for Americans from the Presidents Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, we should be doing workouts designed to build muscle strength at least twice a week. “Resistance training – also known as strength training – involves using weights or other equipment, including your hands, and even you own body weight to challenge and strengthen your muscles,” they say. You should also try to get at least 2 ½ hours of aerobic activity every week.
Step 2: Build a Routine
“There’s no one-size-fits-all prescription based only on age,” Consumer Reports says. You need to find activities that work for you. And be sure you work in a blend of both lower-body strength training, which is important for mobility and balance, as well as upper-body strength training. If you or your loved one has serious health concerns, you will want to consult a doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.
Step 3: Reap the Rewards
This is our favorite part! In addition to building muscle strength, Steps 1 and 2 can offer benefits such as:
- Increased bone density
- Enhanced balance
- Improved cognitive function
- Better quality of life
Maintaining your strength and mobility can also postpone the day when you may need in-home health care. And that’s fine with us! But, if the time comes when you could use some home care services, we hope you will contact us.