This year, the first birthday card I received was from my chiropractor. A not so subtle reminder that as my twenties grow farther away in the review mirror, so does my ability to bounce back from injuries, periods of inactivity, and illness.
My recent trips to the chiropractor for a sports related injury have taught me the importance of maintaining muscles as we age. As a matter of fact, the injury I was treated for, was blamed entirely on my lack of upper body strength and zero work to improve my upper body strength. (You can literally visualize my Dr. wagging her finger at me!)
As we age our muscles atrophy faster, meaning we have to actually work to keep them around (uggg!) However, our muscles can truly be our best friends as we age, especially as caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia. By maintaining our core strength, we have improved balance, meaning less chance of falls; we can carry out our daily activities with greater ease; and even bounce back from illness. Not to mention the stress relief that comes a long with a little exercise. For individuals with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, light exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress including easing the anxiety related to sundowning.
Now I am not talking about becoming a body builder, or even daily trips to the gym. (I actually just cancelled my membership!) The best part about thinking about our muscles is it is never too late to start and exercise happens everywhere, everyday! From chair exercises to things we do around the house, like vacuuming and gardening, you can turn any activity into muscle building.
As a matter of fact, as I am typing I am flexing my foot up and down to strengthen the muscles on the front of my leg to prevent shin splints.
Need a place to start? There are tons of resources out there, but here are a few really great ones!
National Institute of Health: Senior Health
CDC: Physical Exercise (includes suggested exercises with pictures!)
When it comes to our bodies, if you don't use it, you lose it!
- Thank you to everyone who made the inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month a success! We even were tweeted by the Governor! I loved seeing all of the Go Purple and Longest Day activities. By educated our communities, we can achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer's.
- The count down to Walk to End Alzheimer's has begun! Have you registered your team yet?
- We have a number of community workshops and Walk events scheduled throughout the summer, be sure to stay tuned to our community calendar for all the latest!
- Have you recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or know someone who has? Our early stage programs are for you and your caregiver. Find out more information and an event near you by clicking here.
- Cleaning out your garage or getting rid of old furniture? We are on the hunt for a few wing-back chairs to make our family care consultation room more comfortable. Send us an email if you think you have something! firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week!