By Dr. Scott Kuper
Everyone wants to live a long life, but nobody likes growing old. With advances in modern medicine the average lifespan continues to get longer, but what good are those extra years if your failing health doesn’t let you enjoy them to the fullest? I recently read an article that discussed the rising healthcare costs from diseases of old age, and how more and more people are resorting to cosmetic surgeries and pharmacology to look younger as they grow older, but looking young doesn’t fix feeling young. The article also stated that although we cannot change the fact that our bodies do change on a cellular level as we age, we can delay or minimize these age-related changes with appropriate diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications. This falls directly in sync with Body Logic’s motto of “Move better, feel better, live better.” Let me explain how:
One of the inevitable changes that occurs in the body as we get older is that muscle mass and strength decreases while the tendency to gain body fat increases. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2008 investigated methods of minimizing this effect. It found that subjects who participated in a reduced calorie diet combined with an exercises program improved their fitness levels, increased their ability to burn fat, and minimized the loss of muscle mass better than diet or exercise alone. The take home message: make smart food choices, and GET MOVING! The more active you are, the stronger and healthier you will be for many years to come. If you are not used to exercise and are having a tough time getting your body to do what you want it to, come talk to us about how chiropractic treatments can help improve your mobility and decrease your joint pain. This will allow you to keep exercising, which will maintain your muscle mass and strength so you can play with your grandkids instead of just watching them run around like you used to be able to do. It’s never too early to start either- the effort you put in while still young puts you ahead of the curve later in life. Additionally, research has shown that exercise promotes the production of neurotrophic factors and receptors which can reverse the age-related decline in neural stem cells in the brain. This means the more physically active you are, the fewer “senior moments” you will have and the better your memory will be as you keep making more memories for years to come. The better you move, the better you feel- mentally and physically, and the better your lifestyle will be as you get older.
Another way to help prevent cognitive decline with age is to reduce stress and have a relaxed personality. Let’s face it: life is stressful. But studies have shown that people who are not easily distressed by life circumstances were 49% less likely to develop dementia over time, compared to people who are prone to distress. That’s a pretty significant statistic! Many studies have shown how massage can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. So take some time for yourself once in a while to get a massage that will help you feel better, both physically and emotionally, which in turn will help ensure that you live happily to grow old and wise and enjoy the golden years without disability or disease.
Aging can have a huge impact on the physical, mental, and financial costs of the nation and for you as an individual. However, there are many ways that you can reduce or even eliminate those costs with minimal effort. And more good news- we are here to help you! Come talk to us about how you can maintain your good health and live a full life for many years to come.
Written by Dr. Scott Kuper