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Fit After 50

In the United States today, there is a much greater awareness of the fitness benefits for people over 50. Many baby boomers are working hard to make wellness a priority which includes eating right, exercising and taking care of themselves holistically in an effort to increase their chances for better health and longevity.

As the body ages, maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle can become a challenge if you’re not actively engaged in physical activity. Loss of flexibility, strength, and balance also coincide with aging after 50, which is why it’s important to be engaged in strength or circuit training, yoga, or other physical activity to keep your body in movement, to strengthen your muscles, and increase bone density.

For those over 50, weight and health fluctuations can make way for more severe issues further down the line including certain heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers.

To lessen these risks, fitness needs to become a priority. An August 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who are fit and continually active and conditioned experience a much healthier lifestyle, and additionally lower the risks for chronic diseases later in their lifetime.

Four areas that are most often referenced as helpful sources of activity for the over 50 crowd are strength, aerobics, flexibility, and balance. Strength exercises help to maintain muscle mass, which can begin to break down with age. A healthy amount of aerobics and flexibility keeps the body fit and mobile.  Balance also begins to become more challenging with age, making fall-related injuries more of a risk.  Exercises that focus on one-legged and dynamic movements will help to preserve strong balance.

Because October is National Physical Therapy Month, the American Physical Therapy Association is promoting a “Fit after 50” campaign as an endorsement for healthy amounts of activity, consistent mobility, and fitness education with physical therapists for those over 50.  The APTA is also publishing “50 days, 50 ways” on their website, which details daily tips on positive levels of fitness for those who are 50 or older.

Continue to work on keeping fitness a priority if you are over 50. Working with one of South County’s expert physical therapists can help to keep your risk for chronic conditions later in life much lower by making exercise routines manageable and beneficial for your health, especially in your older years. Contact South County Physical Therapy, Inc. to schedule an appointment and learn more information about fitness after 50!

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