Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Health content, Prevention
Determined to improve your fitness for the New Year? You may be considering joining a gym, taking some skiing weekends, starting yoga or simply resolving to take a daily walk. Don't forget to check out your nearest indoor pool—or outdoor pool if you live in a warm enough climate. People who suffer from a number of conditions can benefit from swimming and other water exercises, according to Dr. Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “When our bodies are submerged in water, we become lighter,” Dr. Donovan explains. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who face issues related to strength, balance, sore joints or pain, even when the cause is a chronic condition such as arthritis…
Read More
Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Prevention
You're hauling up boxes of holiday decorations from the basement and hanging their contents. You're shopping for hours at a time—carrying bags laden with stocking stuffers—and then wrapping the gifts and tucking them high and low, into your favorite hiding places. You'll labor over a hot oven, lift that huge ham or turkey into the car and drive it over to the holiday dinner you're attending. With all of the bending, lifting, twisting and reaching, it's no wonder that your back, shoulders, knees and hips are feeling the holiday pressure! "December is the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods," says physical therapist Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. "Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the holiday season. We see…
Read More
A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

Prevention
Information abounds for older adults about the importance of cardio and strength training, but there’s less data available on flexibility training. However, a handful of studies do show that improving flexibility is key for increasing your comfort and longevity as you age.   Why do you need flexibility? Flexibility refers to how easily you bend and how much range of motion you have in your joints. As we age, our muscles and tendons tighten and atrophy, and our joints become stiff, causing a reduction in flexibility. Tight muscles can act as a splint on a joint, preventing it from moving properly. Lower flexibility makes it harder for us to do everyday things, such as: Sit downStand upRoll over in bedGet dressedTake a bath or showerClean the houseWalk the dogReach for…
Read More
Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Health content, Prevention
If you're one of the more than 250 million people suffering with osteoarthritis (OA), you probably struggle with pain and decreased mobility. And if you're not, you may want to take preventive measures to avoid joining the roughly 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women over the age of 60 who have osteoarthritis of the knee—a key joint for so many everyday movements. Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee Pain is the hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis of the knee as well as of other joints. Sufferers often experience "pain flares"—short episodes of intense and unpredictable pain. As a result, people with arthritis of the knee may shy away from participating in social or physical activity to avoid triggering a flare. 4 progressive stages of osteoarthritis of the knee…
Read More
Diet and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Diet and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Health content, Prevention
Are you obese and over 65? Obesity is becoming more and more common in older age groups and can cause or contribute to a variety of unwelcome conditions: Higher levels of inflammation throughout the bodySlower and less efficient muscle repairDiminished strength per pound of weightMobility limitationsSlower walking and movingMore difficulty with stairs Frailty All of these problems can make life more difficult. In addition, obese older adults are more likely to be frail, and frailty carries its own set of challenges, including; ExhaustionWeakness, typically measured in grip strengthSlow walkingLow physical activityHigher likelihood of falling, becoming disabled or being hospitalizedUnintentional weight loss It's intuitive to associate frailty with thinness, and even doctors have been slow to understand that people of all weights can be frail. In fact, recent studies show that…
Read More
Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Syncope, or fainting, is common in adults 65 and older, with research suggesting that more than 20% of older adults have syncopal episodes. But today we know that you can live well and stay safe with the condition. What is Syncope? It's regarded as "fainting" or "passing out" when a person loses consciousness and then recovers without intervention. This event may be due to syncope. A true syncopal episode is caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain. When the brain lacks blood, it also lacks oxygen, causing the person to lose consciousness until the blood and oxygen are restored. Most episodes last only a few minutes. Syncope causes include: Rapid drops in blood pressure. Also known as orthostatic hypotension, this rapid drop causes oxygen levels in the…
Read More
Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Exercise, Health content, Prevention
The loss of strength is a common complaint among seniors. You're not imagining it; muscle strength begins to decline as early as age 30 and, after age 60, the annual rate of decline reaches 3-5%. So, if you're a senior adult, every single year you're losing up to 5 percent of your strength. No wonder you can't lift the way you used to! Two words: resistance training While aerobic exercise has many benefits for overall health, resistance training is the preferred exercise for specifically targeting the loss of muscle strength. Regular resistance training can delay or even reverse the generative loss of muscle mass and bone density, as well as joint dysfunction, that all contribute to the loss of strength. A study of exercise and physical activity in adults concludes,…
Read More
5 Powerful Truths About Sleep and Aging

5 Powerful Truths About Sleep and Aging

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
In today’s society, myths about sleep and aging are passed around more than gravy at a Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s the true scoop on sleeping when you’re older. 1. How does sleep change when you age? Common misconceptions would have you believe that the older you get, the less sleep you need. Although developing children need more sleep than average, sleep requirements for adults remain reasonably constant regardless of age.  What does change are circadian rhythms that help dictate sleep patterns. It’s not uncommon for older adults to sleep and wake earlier as biological clocks regulating internal rhythms shift.  2. Why do seniors have difficulty sleeping or falling asleep? The fragmented sleep often plaguing adults in their 60s and beyond can be due to a variety of factors. For instance, insomnia…
Read More
To Be Hydrated Or Dehydrated? That Is The Question.

To Be Hydrated Or Dehydrated? That Is The Question.

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
The Hydration Issue We often underestimate the important role of hydration in our daily lives. As infants, water comprises 75% of our body weight. This percentage reduces to 55% in the elderly population. No matter your age, water is essential for cellular homeostasis and life. During my time in Haiti, I learned that not enough water in your system causes it to run poorly. Dehydration contributed to a wide number of multi-system conditions – GI issues, cardiac complications, hypotension, bladder and kidney infections. These are less common in our civilized society, however chronic mild dehydration remains an underlying contributing factor for older adults. Maintaining hydration is the easiest way to flush out unwanted bacteria and keep your system running smoothly. Keep an Eye On Dehydration Symptoms Your body naturally wants…
Read More
Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Arthritis, Balance, knowledge, Prevention
Balance As A Vital Sign Our annual doctor’s check-up is comprehensive - blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels - are often measured to determine your health profile. But how is your balance measured? Your ability to maintain balance under various situations should also be considered in your health profile. Unfortunately, one out of three older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk. Fall risk is multifactorial but individualized to each older adult. Lets take a look at contributing factors you can change, factors you cannot change, and how a Physical Therapist…
Read More