We’re All Old People in Training, So Train Wisely

“Becoming an Old Person in Training makes it easier to think critically about what age means in this society and the forces at work behind depictions of older people as useless and pathetic.” -Ashton Applewhite

When most people talk about aging, they portray this picture of decline. Hold onto this misguided belief the best years are behind them. Sadly the anti-aging message is pervasive in our society. And the increasing rates of social isolation among older adults speaks volumes about our views on aging.

But what if instead, we looked at aging as a time of growth? How drastically does that change this image?

There isn’t something specific about aging that causes a state of decline. Your beliefs are what cause change with age. Nothing more. By telling ourselves we've gotten "too old to..." we initiate the process of decline. If we'd just admit that yes, we are in fact getting older, embrace this fact, and view aging as an opportunity for further growth...

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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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MYTH: You Should Avoid Squatting If Your Knees Hurt

MYTH: You should avoiding squatting if your knees hurt. 

We've heard this myth just a few times too many... The truth is that you should do the exact opposite, squats lead to happy, healthy knee joints!

Where most people go wrong is not modifying their squat. There is more than one way to squat and when you first start some ways make your knees happier than others. If you have knee pain, start by sitting on a taller chair. Go from sitting to standing, then standing slowly back to sitting. And there, you have just done a squat! 

As you get stronger, start to lower your seat height or hold onto a small weight when doing this exercise. We hope you learned something new about your knees today!

 

Want to learn more about mindful movement? Sign up for our email newsletters and receive our Balance, Falls, and Brain Health course FREE today.

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Develop This Skill To Build Confidence in Your Health 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 accompanies a decline in physical function, particularly in adults over the age of 60.

Once it happens, it leads to a long road rebuilding 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 a 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...

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25 Movement Tips to Be More Active Today

Think you can’t find enough time in your day to exercise? You’re likely just missing out on opportunities to move more throughout your day without changing much.

Try out any one of these movement tips to get more action out of your day!

  1. Sit on the floor instead of the couch.
  2. Put your laundry basket on the floor and squat to fold your laundry.
  3. Squat to unload your dishwasher.
  4. Stretch your calves or mobilize your feet while you wash your dishes, brush your teeth, watch TV, drink your coffee, etc.
  5. Pull all the weeds in your yard by hand instead of using weed killers (bonus as this is better for the environment too)!
  6. Park in the back of the parking lot.
  7. Take the elevator instead of the stairs.
  8. Use less convenient appliances.
  9. Make your chores less efficient. For example, put the laundry basket in a different room than where you are putting the clothes away to get a few more steps in.
  10. Use a drying rack or clothes line instead of the dryer. This not only decreases...
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Video FAQ: What Can Be Done to Treat Knee Arthritis?

 

One of the most common topics we discuss with our clients is knee osteoarthritis (OA). Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, even from trusted medical professionals, on the treatment options for knee OA! 

No matter what the severity of knee OA is, anyone with OA can benefit from strengthening and mobility training. For everyone with arthritis, we assess skills like squatting, getting out of a chair, getting on and off the floor, and walking to start to detect muscle imbalances or irregular movement patterns. The treatment approach is simple- we treat what we find! For some people that might be treating muscle weakness with a strengthening program, focus on flexibility to improve mobility, or even changing footwear!

Watch the video above for more information on knee OA and reach out to us at [email protected] with any further questions! 

 

Want to learn more about mindful movement? Sign up for our email newsletters and receive our Balance,...

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For Better Health, Be Like a Kid 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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When Body Alignment Matters: Function v. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, with an annual cost estimated to be about $100 billion. These costs are associated with healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity. A majority of adults experience acute pain at least once in their lives with about 28% later developing chronic pain.

With the nation’s growing opioid epidemic, there's been considerable emphasis on understanding the sources of chronic pain. Many mistakenly believe that tissue damage is directly correlated with a person’s risk of developing chronic pain. Statements from medical professionals to their patients which include “Your MRI shows that you have the spine of an 80 year old and you can expect to be in pain for the rest of your life” or “just avoid stairs or squatting entirely if your knees are hurting” just further exacerbate the myths surrounding chronic pain.

There is much confusion regarding body alignment, movement, and pain...

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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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Are You Doomed to Be Inflexible Forever?

Do you wake up feeling stiff every morning?

Does it take an hour or two after waking up for that feeling to go away?

Or does that feeling linger all day?

One of the most common questions we get asked is if this is a natural part of aging. Our clients wonder if this is just inevitable or if there is something that can be done to prevent this. 

We're here to tell you this DOES NOT have to be a natural part of aging, and that yes, there is plenty you can to avoid waking up with that feeling every morning! 

Let's Talk About Flexibility...

Flexibility, also known as range of motion, can be improved and maintained at any age. Our tissues get stiff because we stop using them, not just because of old age. 

We need to take a closer look though, because only working on flexibility is not a great solution either. It's vital to keep a good range of motion of all of our joints as we age, but to function at our best we must also have the strength to control our...

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