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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Stop Trying to Defy Aging. Embrace It Instead.

“Ageism is prejudice against our own future selves.” -Ashton Applewhite

We see the phrase “anti-aging” everywhere. It’s obviously at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

But newsflash: we’re all aging.

There isn’t anything you can do to stop it.

And yet all we hear about are the negative aspects of aging. And this constant push to try to put a stop to a process that’s an inevitable aspect of life.

It’s become painfully apparent we live in an ageist society.

If you look around, you’ll notice a pattern. Of all the advertising to buy products or services to “hide” the fact that we’re aging.

And the real danger here is our thought patterns dictate our actions. Both our individual actions and the actions of society. When you take a look around, it becomes obvious we’ve structured world to discriminate against older adults. This TED Talk on ageism by Ashton Applewhite sums this up perfectly.

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Balance: Does Your Perception Meet Reality?

 

Last summer for my 32nd birthday, I thought it would be a great idea to climb a tree. I hadn’t climbed a tree since I was very young, but it’s something I used to do all the time. So I thought nothing of it. Our front yard has a perfect climbing tree I’d been eyeing for some time.

We’ve all climbed trees as kids and felt confident in our ability to do it. The last time I climbed it was no problem and I assumed I would feel that way going into this. In fact, I thought getting myself onto the first branch would be easy. I could see a clear path to climb up a few branches beyond that.

But I think we all know where this story is going.

It turns out, climbing a tree is pretty difficult when you haven’t done it for a few decades. Not only did I need help getting up to the first low branch, once I was there I didn’t feel confident in my ability to stay balanced at all. I found myself staring at the ground, both hands on the branch, feeling as though I...

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How To Create A Movement Habit And Stick To It

Ever tried to develop an exercise habit and found yourself unable to stick with it?

If so, you aren’t alone. The difficulty in maintaining an exercise habit happens for a variety of reasons. It might be that you tried too much too soon. Or more likely, you just didn’t find something you actually enjoyed enough to stick to.

One of the most common questions I hear as a physical therapist is, “What kind of exercise program is best for me?”

My answer is always, “The one that you enjoy enough to show up for every day.”

There really isn’t a right or wrong answer. And while this approach sounds simple in theory, it can take some trial and error to figure it out.

One of the most common problems I run in to is the use of the word “exercise”. For some, it carries a lot of baggage because they think they have put off developing an “exercise” habit for too long. They fall into the trap of thinking it’s too late for...

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Action Steps To Improve Your Balance Today

 

Age gracefully by challenging your balance every day.


We don’t often think about our balance until it becomes a problem. In my work as a therapist, I’ve treated both younger and older adults with balance problems.

Balance is a complex system, involving communication between our brain, body, and sensory systems. A decline in any one of these can quickly become problematic.

We tend to associate balance problems with aging, but there isn’t a magical age you reach in which your balance starts to decline. Instead, physical decline begins the minute you stop challenging yourself.

The benefits of maintaining and improving your balance at any age are endless. You’re more likely to be capable to continue doing the activities you love as you age. You’ll worry less about falling, and have more confidence than adults who don’t have good balance. Research has even found a strong connection between balance and brain health. The better your balance,...

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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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How Your Physical Health Relates to Your Mental Health

Brain health isn't a topic discussed often enough, particularly within the medical community. On the bright side, the topics of mental health and access to mental health services have come to light in the last few years. But, the aging brain is often left out of the conversation.

There are many unanswered questions about the decline in brain health with aging. The medical profession is starting to observe the differences in adults who experience brain atrophy and those who don’t. So, we're gaining some clarity. But, there's still so much we don't know.
 
The research identified some clear patterns in those who receive a diagnosis of dementia. But, keep in mind that patterns don't always give a clear cause. We know fall risk increases with increasing mental decline. We know poor mental health increases the risk of developing dementia. We know a connection exists between muscle weakness and dementia. What isn't as clear is why.
 
This is the 2nd part in a...
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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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Your Mindset About Aging is Impacting How You Age

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about aging?

Do you imagine a life of limiting what you enjoy because of medical conditions? A time of decline? A life full of doctor's appointments?

Or do you imagine a life full of vitality? Feeling amazing so you can continue to do all the things you love well into your golden years?

We hope imagine the latter, but unfortunately most only picture the first scenario.

How We View Aging 

It's an understatement to say that our society holds tightly to a negative view of aging. It's pervasive in the ways we talk about older adults and also very apparent in advertising. It seems we are on a never-ending quest for “anti-aging” everything.

We often make the mistake of associating aging with decline, and these views impact the way in which older adults view their health. We make assumptions we'll decline both mentally and physically as we age.

But are we really declining because of age itself or because our views...

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The One Factor That Holds the Power to Change Your Life in an Instant

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford

Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Ever had a feeling something would go wrong, and then it did? It probably left you wondering if it was intuition, or if your bad feelings caused you to act differently than you would have, bringing about the negative outcome. The answer is likely the latter.

You've likely experienced this at one time or another, and are likely experiencing this every day without even being aware!

So how do you know if this is you?

Are you struggling with your health? Not feeling quite as energetic and confident as you hope you will someday?

You might be setting yourself up each and every day for a self-fulling prophecy when it comes to your health just by being in the wrong mindset.

When you believe something will go wrong, you set yourself up for failure. In healthcare, we see this every day. At a client's first visit we often hear stories of desperation and how...

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