It’s no secret that we can all start to feel less energetic as we get older. All sorts of factors can make us feel achy – whether it’s joint stiffness from arthritis giving you gyp, or hypermobility causing tension and pain. Most changes in mobility are normal and not a cause for concern. However, if you’re finding yourself in more pain than usual, or struggling to do tasks you once found easy, then it might be time to assess your lifestyle and start to make some changes.
Why do our bodies ache more as we get older?
We all tend to be less active over the Winter months, so as Spring approaches and we want to get moving, our muscles and joints can feel stiff as a result of us being inactive.
Remember: while mild aches can be normal, any symptoms that come on very suddenly or linger after a considerable amount of time should be checked out as soon as possible by a GP or health professional.
What can we do to beat aches and pains?
Back and neck pain can be a common experience for many people in their daily lives. If you’re able to do so, gentle neck and back exercises can loosen up any build-up of tension and help to relieve pain.
Remember: if you have a sensitive health condition it’s always advised to consult with a GP or health practitioner before attempting any new exercise regimes, to ensure it’s safe to do so. If you’re experiencing ongoing problems, consider visiting an Osteopath who can give you specialized advice for you and your body type.
Neck and back stretches
This is an osteopath tried and tested exercise to help to release tension in the neck and back. Interlace your fingers and place them behind your neck, then gently bring your elbows together. Hold for a few seconds. Imagine a pencil coming out of your elbows and a piece of paper in front of you, then with your elbows gently trace a figure of 8 in the air. This should feel comfortable, not painful.
This gentle leg warm-up is particularly useful for people who walk, run or hike often. Hold on to a steady surface for support and turn to the side. Gently swing one leg back and forth to release any tension. Repeat for 30 seconds, then change legs.
Many of us breathe shallowly from our chests which can cause a bit of tension. However, abdominal or diaphoretic breathing is important. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in for 3 seconds, and exhale. Concentrate on your lower hand going up and down while keeping the hand on your chest perfectly still. This is a simple and effective way to increase oxygen in your body while calming the mind. Pay attention to any changes to your breathing, as shortness of breath or wheezing could be a sign of a more serious problem.
These tips aren’t quick fixes, but practical exercises that when practiced daily can support a healthier lifestyle.
Have mobility issues got you feeling down? Does the idea of climbing flights of stairs make you feel exhausted? If you or a loved one are wanting to gain back independence in your home and feel more comfortable when getting up and down the stairs, then a stairlift could be the ideal solution. If you want to learn more about Halton’s full range of stairlift options Speak to the friendly team on 0800 644 7766. We’ll be happy to discuss stairlift installation options in your area or arrange a no obligation home assessment at a date and time to suit you.