As the flowers bloom and the sunbeams sparkle outside to welcome Spring, many find themselves inspired for a fresh start of their own. And we at AgeWell Atlanta encourage those seeking positive change to start now, instead of waiting for Spring every year. As part of our year-round commitment to the health and wellbeing of aging adults, we want to share some of our favorite tips to help you maintain and improve your strength and mobility as you age.
Tip 1: Go for a walk every day.
It’s very well-documented that walking has countless benefits for any age group, and older adults are no exception! Some of the benefits of walking for older adults include helping strengthen your muscles, lowering your risk for heart disease and other lifestyle-driven diseases, keeping your joints flexible, and improving your balance and coordination, which reduces your risk of falling.
Tip 2: Practice different stretching activities.
Stretching exercises are an easy and low-impact way to help keep your body flexible and mobile as you age. Health experts recommend that aging adults stretch every major muscle group for at least 10 minutes two days a week. These major muscle groups include your neck, shoulder and upper arms, chest, ankles, quadriceps, hip, and lower back. Be sure to take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you stretch, and hold each stretch for 30 seconds. It’s best to do a quick warm up before you begin stretching, such as a quick five to 10 minute walk.
Tip 3: Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
A healthy and balanced diet is an important and lifelong commitment. And there are certain foods that have been proven to strengthen your bones and joints, which can lead to better mobility as you age. These foods are high in calcium and vitamin D, and include milk and cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts, egg yolks, and oily fish like salmon and sardines. Another great way of getting vitamin D is through the sun. From late March to the end of September is a great time of year to absorb vitamin D through daily short walks in the sunshine.
Tip 4: Do exercises to improve balance and coordination.
Having solid balance and coordination can prevent falls in older adults, which can be scary and debilitating. And like any skill, balance and coordination is something that you need to practice. Pretty much all exercises for maintaining and improving balance and coordination can be done at home, and are suitable for all fitness levels. These exercises include standing marches, sidestepping, sit to stands, and more.
Tip 5: Stay social.
One of the best ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing, including strength and mobility, is to stay actively engaged with others. AgeWell Atlanta hosts plenty of events every week to encourage aging adults to be social, such as Brain Health Bootcamp, events in Metro Atlanta through AgeWell Atlanta Neighborhoods, friendly visitor program One Good Deed, classes and events at the MJCCA, and more.
Want to stay up to date with every AgeWell Atlanta social event? Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our email newsletter. And if you have any questions or concerns on behalf of yourself or a loved one, please contact us today. Our caring and experienced concierges can help with informational, referrals, and warm hand offs to the right resources for you.