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50, is it the New 20?

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So it’s official. You have come face-to-face with the infamous 50 birthday candles. You are now “over the hill” as the famous saying goes. Grandparenthood is fast approaching and retirement seems like it’s just around the corner. On the other hand, you can’t seem to watch your favorite movie without drifting off to sleep, your dark brown hair is now a salt and pepper gray, and the elevator at your job is becoming a lot more appealing than the staircase.

As exciting as hiking up that “hill” can be, it can sometimes be a bit of a strain on our health and fitness—pun intended. As we get older, naptime increases while trips to the gym become a little less frequent. Most regard this transition as just a natural part of aging, however as we get older our health and fitness play an even bigger role in the overall quality of life.

So “what’s the solution?” you ask–the American Physical Therapy Association’s “Fit After 50” campaign. Launched in October of 2012, this one-of-a-kind program is geared towards the idea of individuals 50 and over, maintaining their health and staying physically active. Furthermore the program focuses on the essential role that Physical Therapy practices play in the campaign.

The APTA suggests that “Physical therapists can help people remain active and fit by providing individualized fitness programs that improve balance, increase mobility, and reduce the risk of injury.” By doing this, physical therapists promote healthy age progression and can even help increase one’s chances of longevity.

As we all know, aging can sometimes bring about a number of physical discomforts and disabilities, from weakness in the bones and inflexibility to urinary incontinence and limitations in range of motion. Several treatment methods within physical therapy can not only treat existing conditions, but can also prevent the onset of any new discomforts that may come with age.

Research has shown that maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the age of 50 has several benefits. From boosting your energy and helping you to lose weight to strengthening balance and flexibility, exercise in older adults is the key to health and happiness. In addition to the physical benefits, staying fit over 50 can also improve your mental health in terms of boosting self-confidence, improving moods, and sleeping patterns.

The “Fit After 50” movement features a ton of tips, information, and programs that will make you feel as if you took a dip in the fountain of youth. Physical therapy practices around the nation have adopted this program as a part of their treatment roster for older adults. For more information about this program, visit the APTA website by clicking here and for more information on treatment options for aging conditions such as the ones described above, contact one of our outpatient offices creve-coeur and Richmond Heights.