5 Natural Movements You Should Be Able to Do at Any Age

In recent years, research continues to find that physical mobility is one of the strongest indicators of the risk of chronic disease as we age. In hospitals around the country, staff members at all levels are being trained to help screen patients for mobility upon admission and before their return to home. Walking is now considered a 6th vital sign and physicians are increasingly encouraged to screen their patients for their walking ability. 

In the clinic, we often aren’t seeing clients until they’re having a problem with their mobility. It’s our mission to make sure everyone has an awareness of subtle warning signs before there’s a problem. Upon every initial assessment, we screen our clients for 5 natural movements that give us a comprehensive picture of their mobility and help them guide their course of action. 

Below is the list of movements we perform at every initial assessment. If you can perform the 5 below movements AND maintain your...

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Develop This Skill To Build Confidence As You Age

A common theme I’ve noted in my work as a physical therapist is a loss of confidence in all areas of life that usually accompany a decline in physical function, particularly in older adults.

Once it happens, it leads to a long road to rebuild this confidence and often leaves those it happens to never getting back to the place they were before.

And it makes so much sense. A loss of physical abilities leads to difficulty leaving home, participating in much loved activities, and creating a dependency on others for survival. This quickly leads to feeling of isolation, depression, and loneliness which further perpetuates the cycle of decline.

So… armed with this information how can you prevent this from happening in your future?

On one hand, it’s not entirely possible to prevent every medical event. Even those who make all the right lifestyle choices can still end up with a chronic condition. On the other hand, however, we can all choose how we will react to and...

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5 Action Steps to Take Today to Start Aging Well

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Whether you're 15, 35, or 75 years old, newsflash... you are aging! 

Might as well take control and decide how you want to age. 

It's never too early to start to think about aging, and if you aren't happy with how you're aging it's never too late to start. 

At our clinic, we've had the pleasure of working with adults all the way up to 102 years old who report their quality of life as very high. And that is because their daily habits support their longevity. So... we've been keeping track of what these habits are so we can help others do the same. 

There are an infinite amount of actions you can take to age gracefully, but we listed out the action steps that will give the greatest impact for the effort put in.

Always remember, aging can be what you want it to be.

1. Think Positive

We probably sound...

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For Better Health, Be Like a KidĀ Again

The other night, I was watching my one-year-old son attempt to pick up a garden hose in the backyard. Starting in a deep squat, he kept trying to stand up with an object that was heavy relative to his size. Standing unsupported is a skill he's yet to master, and here he was trying this unknown skill to him. After about 50 tries, he finally got it and I'll never forget that smile on his face.

 
Watching my children grow over the last few years, I've realized kids are invigorated by the most difficult of physical challenges. Curiosity to learn about their surroundings results in physical skills like crawling and walking. The connection between physical movement and brain development is clear in children.
 
I'm not sure where we lost this as adults, but keeping this same curiosity would solve most of our health problems. Adopting a child's approach brings mindfulness to movement, paving the way for healthier aging. Here's what you can take from this example to...
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What is a Floor Transfer?

 

Why do we care so much about your ability to get on and off the floor?
 
Because the ability to get on and off the floor without the use of your hands is a strong physical predictor of early disability and death.
 
This is why one of the first skills we cover with new clients is getting on and off the floor. Not only is this a life-saving skill but it's also one of our favorite exercises for healthy aging!
 
There are an infinite number of ways you can get on and off the floor, as well as unlimited options for sitting positions once you are on the floor. The confidence to know you can safely and easily get off the floor decreases your future risk of falls!
 
If you're currently able to get yourself on and off the floor, continue to practice this skill daily. If you are unsure, see a physical or occupational therapist for a floor transfer test. 
 
A floor transfer test is nothing fancy. As shown in the pictures above, the...
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Movement Tips to Avoid Back Pain During Pregnancy

More than two-thirds of pregnant women report low back pain and up to one-fifth report pelvic pain during pregnancy. Reports of pain tend to increase later in pregnancy and interfere with daily activities, sleep, and work. About 20% of women who experience low back or pelvic pain during pregnancy report persistent pain for up to 3 years following pregnancy.

Chronic pain is complicated and much research in recent years has revolved around the term “pain catastrophizing”. Catastrophizing is a process of becoming fixated on pain, magnifying the effects of it, feeling helpless, and expecting negative outcomes associated with pain.

Research shows that those who catastrophize are more likely to develop persistent chronic pain and disability. Women who demonstrated pain catastrophizing during their pregnancy were found to be less likely to have been active throughout their pregnancy and more likely to develop persistent pain after.

The recommendation of daily physical activity...

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Have You Sat on the Floor Yet Today?

 

One of our favorite questions to ask new clients is, “When is the last time you sat on the floor ON PURPOSE?”

So be honest... when is the last time you intentionally got yourself on and off the floor?

If you aren't doing this daily basis, you are actually missing out on a huge opportunity to maintain your strength and range of motion as you age. Getting yourself safely onto the floor takes your knees and hips through a greater range of motion than sitting in a chair. 

Beyond the act of getting on and off the floor, sitting on the floor has strengthening benefits as well. Floor sitting forces you to use of the muscles of your trunk for support rather than sinking into the back of a chair or couch. And as another side benefit, you're much more likely to keep moving and changing positions while sitting on the floor.

Get stronger and more mobile without even being aware of it?! Yes, with floor sitting this is possible! The options are endless...

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Why You Should Become a Student of Your Movement

When is the last time you really paid attention to how you're moving?

For most of us, the answer is likely not very much time at all... until there is a problem. We take our movement for granted until we have pain or weakness to remind us that it takes effort to use our body to get around. 

We've fallen into the bad habit of moving mindlessly throughout our day.

But... what if one of the keys to optimal health is to bring back thoughtfulness and reflection when it comes to how you move throughout your day? 

You don't have to wait until your quality of life has taken a hit to become a student of your movement. And in fact, to prevent your physical health from going downhill, you should adopt a learning mindset ASAP. 

Curious as to both why and how you should do this? Read on. 

Let's Break It Down Further...

As we've discussed in the past, movement is an essential component of health. And to take it a step further, the greater the quality of your movement, the...

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No Time to Exercise? Try This Instead.

 

Do you understand the health benefits of exercise but have always struggled to maintain a routine?

Or do you not know where to get started in the first place?

If this sounds like you, you are in the right place! 

If you struggle with exercise, it's possible to get more movement in your day with a few simple adjustments to your surroundings. And to illustrate this point we will start with a story about a broken kitchen appliance...

What Your Kitchen Appliances Have to Do With Your Exercise Habits... 

About a month ago our food processor broke. Panic ensued. It was a much loved kitchen appliance, one that we use daily for dishes like pesto and hummus. 

Rather than running out to buy a new one however... we decided to see what would happen if we didn't replace it. At least not right away. Seems like an unconventional choice when we live in a world where we can replace anything instantly, but stay with us here. 

We used a little creativity  to find...

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