There is no avoiding aging, and as we do, we inevitably undergo physiological changes to our joints, muscles, and bones that impact our mobility, which can then affect our independence. The more sedentary we are or become, the more we increase the lack of mobility. However, embracing a life of daily physical activity, along with proper weight management and a rich diet of nutrients, protein, and calcium, can benefit and support the health of your body (muscle, bones, joints, etc.), which then keeps you mobile.
IMPORTANCE OF MUSCLE HEALTH
We are made up of more than 600 muscles in our body that help us lift things, move, get our blood pumping, and even breath. They are also attached to your bones (skeletal mass), which then enables you to run, walk, and essentially, move. However, the rate at which we lose muscle is highly influenced by the amount of regular physical activity people do throughout their lives. Healthy muscles allow us to keep moving freely and to keep our body strong.
IMPORTANCE OF BONE HEALTH
Bones play many roles in the body as they are instrumental to our health and longevity. They protect our brain, organs, heart, anchor muscles to support us and allow us to move. They store calcium and phosphorus, which keeps our bones strong. However, without proper nutrition and enough exercise, our bones become weak and can break. Broken bones are painful and can create long-lasting issues for our health.
IMPORTANCE OF JOINT HEALTH
Our joints are the connections between our bones–they allow us the ability to bend parts of our body such as hips, knees, elbows, neck and more. As we age we become more susceptible to our joints to begin wearing down and can cause certain conditions like degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. This can lead to great pain and restriction when it comes to mobility and flexibility. Even the simplest of movements, like reaching for a book can be next to impossible. Healthy joints can help reduce or prevent pain.
IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT
Our bodies were designed to move. When you move, your body becomes strong and healthy, as well as prevents injury. Below are key benefits to upholding a physically active lifestyle:
- Keeps muscles strong
- Prevents the chance of developing chronic disease
- Protects the immune system (Strong body immunity)
- Increases bone density
- Good for cardiovascular (heart) health
- Reduces hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Helps reduce pain
- Helps the body heal faster
- Increases weight loss
- Improves metabolism (Digestion)
MOVEMENT AND PHYSICAL THERAPY
One of the major benefits of working with a physical therapist is that they are experts on how the body moves and have an in-depth understanding of how important mobility really is for function and our overall health. They understand how injuries, pain, aches, and disease occur due to the amount of daily wear and tear placed on our musculoskeletal system. That’s why in order to create a solid foundation for long-term health, we should look to an expert of physical therapy.
People often view physical therapy as something you seek out after an injury or surgery but tend to miss other aspects to PT that can be utilized for movement to help heal the body. For individuals that are unable to function due to an injury or degeneration, a skilled physical therapist can prescribe the right personalized exercises and treatment to improve the function and range of motion of our joints, which impacts the muscles and bone health. These exercises can include but are not limited to, walking or lifting weights, that increase flexibility, strength, coordination, and endurance. There are also manual therapy treatments such as massage to help with flexibility and decrease pain.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what level of fitness your body may be at, you have the ability to live a pain-free and mobile lifestyle. It’s never too late to start making lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life. We invite you to meet with one of our expert physical therapists at Apex Physical Therapy to get you started on setting goals and a personalized treatment plan!