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Staying Active As We Age: It Doesn't Have To Be Painful

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I recently had the opportunity to speak to a few different groups on the importance of using exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle through the ages. It is interesting to me how this can be such a difficult thing for us as a human race to begin, let alone continue as we age.

Remember, there are many things in our world that are meant to be beneficial for improving health, many of which have a certain amount of risk to individuals. Take medication or surgery for example. These all have their inherent risks, just read the bottle of medication you are taking. Exercise in general if done correctly and started in a safe manner has no negative benefits. It is something that all of us should be doing to work towards a healthier lifestyle.

As I have given this talk, the one thing I try to stress with anyone is being able to find a way to exercise that you like. It doesn’t have to be a love, hate relationship, but something that you at least find some enjoyment in. This could be walking, biking, etc. You are only limited by your creativity.

The more important piece to understand is to always respect your body and how it responds to exercise. Remember, exercise is not bad, it only seems that way when we push ourselves to hard. Listen to what you feel like during the exercise and afterwards. It is important to be able to differentiate between pain and soreness as these are two separate issues. Pain would be something that stops you from moving a joint, wakes you at night, and has a deep throbbing or sharp, jabbing type pain. Soreness usually comes on within 24-48 hours after you have exercised. This will usually subside within 4-5 days afterwards depending on how hard you exercised. As long as you can differentiate between these two responses, you can develop a good, safe way to exercise and further improve your ability to live a quality life and keep doing the things you want to do.

If you are having trouble understanding the difference between pain and soreness, you may be appropriate for a visit to see one of our physical therapists. We can help you develop an understanding of how to begin an exercise program and also teach you the mindset for injury prevention. Just give us a call and we can set you up with one of our highly skilled physical therapists.

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