Getting older - simple tips to keep our bodies right

Getting older - simple tips to keep our bodies right


We generally expect that as we get older that we will inevitably suffer with aches, pains, stiffness, breathlessness, weakness etc.., in fact you’ll often heard people say “it’s all downhill after 30”!! We then accept these issues when they arise and do nothing about them.

What if we don’t accept it? Is there something we can do? Absolutely, positively there is! It is, quite simply, the condition of our bodies that dictates how we feel and what we can do at every stage of life. Take for example Johanna Quass, an 86 year old German gymnast, who is still wowing crowds with demonstrations of agility, balance and strength (videos on Youtube) to see what’s possible when a body’s in good condition.

Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of ‘old age’ and see what can be done…

Weakness in the body is a sign that muscles need to be strengthened and studies have shown that strength training will show gains even in the over 90’s age range…

Stiffness in the body usually indicates that muscle elasticity has reduced. This is easily restored through massage and regular stretching.

Breathlessness during low-intensity activities often shows us that the Cardiovascular System is running below par and needs a ‘tune-up’. Gentle aerobic exercise will improve the function of the heart and lungs while increasing our red blood-cell count to make us more aerobically efficient. This allows us to do more activity with less effort. Circulation will also improve and benefit over-all health as it is the blood which carries vital nutrients throughout the body.

Aches and pains, can often be attributed to tight, weak muscles that are easily strained and over-stretched causing inflammation. In fact, many cases of arthritis (which literally means moveable-joint-inflammation) are fully treatable by releasing and restoring normal muscle function.

So, now that we know that age is no limiting factor, what can we do to regain and maintain a high level of health and fitness as we get older? Well the skies the limit! Here are some great options;

Yoga - Yoga gives you more energy, enhanced physical well-being, improved digestion and a more positive attitude towards life.

Regular gentle movements help reduce the pain of arthritis and maintain mobility; they expand range of motion without stressing or straining joints. Increased circulation reduces swelling and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the joint tissues to facilitate their healing.

Bones grow stronger in response to use. In yoga the weight is safely applied to the bones in the hands, arms, upper body, as well as the feet and legs. This weight is applied to the bones safely, incrementally, as the student becomes stronger and can hold postures for longer periods of time.

Deep breathing is especially important for older people and is hugely beneficial in alleviating symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. It helps release tension stress and invites calmness giving a more positive outlook on life and better sleep.

Yoga classes allow you to work at your own level and can include gentle stretches and yoga postures to build strength, balance and self-awareness. Many include meditation, relaxation and breathing exercises. Call Maggie Crosse 087 286 9097 for details of yoga classes to suit you…

Tai chi - Sharing many of the benefits of Yoga, Tai chi exercises promote balance, strength, stamina and flexibility. Tai chi promotes the flow of energy through the body and improves circulation and an overall sense of well-being. Call Carmel O’Conner 087 237 3343 for details on classes.

Dancing - Exercise should always be enjoyable and dancing is a great way to get fitter while also enjoying the social side of meeting people and having fun.

Walking - Fresh air and beautiful views are good for the body, mind and soul. A good walk tones and strengthens many muscles, improves the cardiovascular system and gives us the ‘feel good factor’ provided by endorphins which are released during exercise.

Neuromuscular Therapy - If aches, pains and stiffness are preventing you from taking exercise, get them treated! Neuromuscular Therapy is very effective at restoring normal, pain-free, function of the body so you can get back to enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle…

Health Matters Multi-disciplinary Health Clinic, Clonmel and Thurles

Neuromuscular Therapy; Back Pain, Neck Pain, Frozen shoulder, Trapped nerves, restless leg etc.

Sports Therapy; Runners knee, Achilles Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, I.T.B Syndrome and Piriformis syndrome, Tennis elbow etc.

Personal Training: Personalised routines and advice to suit your lifestyle.

Course provider: E.P.P.I.C Flexibility workshop for coaches and athletes.

Back to Health 5-week Program for rehabilitation and treatment of back pain.

Contact Neil Dennehy on 087 629 3729 for more information / to book your appointment.