Building Physical Resilience Part 2

“Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce back.” – Vivian Komori

I’ve always referred to this when talking to our patients. We want to be able to bounce right back to where we started when we have a negative stressor. These negative events and setbacks in our life are inevitable, but we want to pop back up. I encourage you all to think differently ahead of your potential next setback. With aging, these setbacks get even harder to bounce back from.

When people with less resiliency have a setback, they don’t quite bounce back right to where they started. Whether they’re in the hospital for a night, or something negative happened emotionally in their lives, it’s hard to bounce back. The aging process alone makes that difficult. So when the times are good, I encourage you to build your reservoir of resilience.

Low back pain is the most common reason older adults seek my care. Exercises such as the hip hinge are a good foundation for any older adult hoping to get started on preventing back pain in the future. I encourage you to partner with a health care professional in your area to put these concepts into practice.

If you don’t know where to start, the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and two times per week of muscle-strengthening on two or more days that work for most major muscle groups. Don’t feel any pressure that you’re not doing this right now, because less than 1/4 of adults hit these minimum recommendations.

So my question for you all before signing off is: what is your strength goal? If you don’t know what it is, make a why first. Some examples:

  • So you can garden for longer
  • So you can get on the ground to play with your grandkids
  • So you can go on a six-mile hike

All are good reasons to build a strength program into your routine. If you don’t know how to assess modern moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, stay tuned for future blogs to get you on track. You can also contact your local geriatric physical therapist; they should be able to point you in the right direction and get you started on your path to building physical resilience.

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