Physical ageing is one of the least exciting aspects of growing older, and most of us steadfastly resist the idea. However, our body can continue to be our faithful servant, or become a niggling painful nark, and which it is may depend on how we look after it now.

The earlier we learn to love our bodies, the better our aging is likely to be.

And this may include tough love of the ‘get off the couch even when we’re tired’ variety, or cut back those sugars even when we are ravenous. And the mind seems to respond to the same care that we can give our bodies, be it dietary or exercise. This is good news if we want to keep our marbles!!

So think on this…On what does our independence hang?

Cognitive function and mobility are the two big things that spring to mind. And the best care to retain both is the old adage, “Use it or lose it”. It seems that there is nothing that gets harmed by a sensible amount of exercise, and almost everything improves with it. It is the first major step towards maintaining our independence.

This is because exercise increases the nutrient- carrying blood flow to, and lymphatic drainage from, all tissues. For example, even moderate arthritis can benefit from exercise, and things as simple as well-fitting shoes can enable continued mobility.

A visit to our osteopaths can help you sort out what parts of you may need extra help or support. For example, we all know people who ‘fall’ onto chairs because their quads are weak and they can’t easily lower themselves. One bad fall if a chair topples or breaks under an older person could end in a fracture that is the start of lost independence. The exercises to restore quads are not difficult, and the osteopath can also loosen up stiff joints including those in the feet. Or our osteopath, Faith Crawford, can offer a gait scan and advise on orthotic solutions for feet that need support.

We assess everyone individually…there are no ‘off the peg’ treatments here, and we will help you maintain independence and improve mobility. Our treatments frequently reduce chronic pain by establishing what is really causing it, such as an old injury which has not resolved, or habitual weak posture.

For optimum results, dietary care is helpful too.

While the jury is still out on the benefits of many named diets, we do know for sure that excessive sugar is our No 1 enemy. It has crept into processed foods such as muesli, canned items, drinks, ready-made sauces…the list is endless. If you travel to the USA, you will know that for many years a lot of their food has been unbearably sweet to our palate, but sadly, the same thing is now happening here. Sugar is a very cheap ingredient and is used to bulk out food items which may also then claim to be ‘low fat’. Ironically, fat is probably less harmful than sugar.

So read those labels, and avoid the heavily sweet stuff. Even the ‘healthy’ snack bars often have a couple of teaspoons of sugar in them. Try raw nuts, veges and fruit for snacks, and lots of leafy veges in your daily diet. Like exercise, veges and fruits are the good guys that underpin good health. But a treat such as chocolate now and then will also do your mind good, so don’t become your own food policeman!!

  Back to blog