Article – The Real Fountain of Youth – Our Mobility
There is nothing that pulls at my heart strings more than seeing someone who has lost their ability to move well because of lifestyle choices that have now caught up with them and compromised the quality of their movement. It doesn’t matter the age. I’ve witnessed grade school and high school aged kids who moved with more dysfunction than some of my clients who are well into their 70s! The culprits are familiar. Poor posture, poor eating and drinking habits, lack of consistent exercise and mismanaged stress are the most common causes. Please don’t let this be you! Join me in learning first what mobility is, then why you want it, and finally, how you can get and maintain it.
So what exactly is mobility? Technically it is defined as the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Reach up overhead with your left arm. What happened? You may have simply reached overhead without a second thought about doing so. Or, if you are like many, you ran into some kind of restriction when you raised your arm. The absence of any restriction is what we’re after. That is the essence of mobility and the key to moving well no matter our age.
Reaching overhead and experiencing limited mobility is at the least annoying and at most quite damaging. Let me explain. What happens when one of us with limited overhead reaching mobility needs to use that strategy? We compensate for our limited range by leveraging our body. We either support our less mobile arm with our other arm, thus leaving us without a backup if we lose our balance or we change our body posture to achieve a task. I have personally seen a number of people with lower back issues that are partly to blame for these postural changes.
Now what if your limit is somewhere else like your hips, knees or ankles for example? Realize the implications please! Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide according to the World Health Organization’s website. And on the same website under risk factors you will see very clearly that poor mobility is one of them.1 Very real experiences such as falling and breaking a wrist, shoulder or hip can be minimized dramatically by ensuring the health of your joints and their mobility.
Hopefully by now I have your attention. Let’s get to the good stuff and learn what you can do to ensure your mobility remains intact as you continue to age. The first thing I’m going to suggest is to lose some weight. If you know that you’re carrying some extra pounds please do what you have to do to rid your frame, and your poor joints, of them. You may not realize this so I’ll tell you. Being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30 – 60 pounds with each step! Now think about the implications of having 20, 30, 50 excess pounds on your frame. Achieve a healthy weight and your mobility will dramatically improve.
Second to maintaining a healthy body weight is consistent exercise that moves your joints through full ranges of motion. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying use it or lose it. Range of motion is commonly lost simply because we don’t use our joints the way they are designed to be moved. What starts out as some tightness or discomfort can evolve over time into significant joint limitations as bones, tendons, and fascia remodel abnormally and forever impact how much movement can even be accessed. Avoid these life-altering changes by doing exercises that train your joints in every range they are intended to move and do so consistently. If you cannot do so with land based exercise, start in a pool. A pool deloads your body, and therefore your joints, making the adventure of exploring your joint range of motion more enjoyable and thus more likely to happen.
It’s also important when we’re exercising to maintain healthy mobility to do so with good form and function. It is unfortunate how many people damage their bodies and hamper movement by doing exercises with poor technique. Remember to slow down, use weights that you can safely handle, and stick to those exercises you comprehend. Also, be okay with asking for help. If you are unsure how to do an exercise properly you are saving yourself from unnecessary pain by learning from a professional who can teach you.
Another way to ensure your mobility stays with you is through your diet. I already suggested that you lose excess weight which certainly is impacted by our food and drink choices. I also want you to be aware of your nutrition for one other key reason. Your joint health is directly affected by your diet. One of the most common reasons for someone to move less, especially with age, is pain. Topping the list of pain inducers is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and its dirty work leaves someone who has it with degradation of joint cartilage. Pain with movement is one of the most common outcomes. As someone moves less due to pain, the joints that aren’t being asked to move adapt their structures to move most efficiently how they are being asked thus severely crippling an individual’s movement quality and therefore mobility. Diets that are high in fried and processed foods, sugars and refined carbohydrates, high dairy content, alcohol and tobacco, high salt, and high levels of omega-6 fatty acids found in products such as corn oil have been demonstrated to promote inflammation. Instead seek out a diet abundant in fiber rich and primarily whole foods, added sugar held to an absolute minimum, moderate dairy in the ball park of not more than 3 servings a day, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in products such as olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.2 Most importantly educate yourself about food and its impact, good or not so good, on your joint health.
Aging is coming whether we want it to or not. It is a natural part of the life cycle and we should celebrate it as being so. Let’s take charge of our health and well-being though. Let’s choose behaviors that support lasting mobility so we can live our years how we want to live them.
1 – “Falls.” WHO. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs344/en/>.
2 – “Foods to Avoid with Arthritis.” Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-to-avoid-with-arthritis#1>.
Client Spotlight – Tracey Anderson
First reason was pain. Pain in my shoulder due to an injury and generalized pain in my joints. As a 50+ female I was noticing more joint pain and stiffness that was interfering in the physical activities I enjoy like walking and hiking.
Second reason was my dressage horse (that I would normally ride 3 times a week) was on stall rest due to her own injury and I thought it would be a good time for a “self-tune-up”.
Third reason was aesthetics. Simply wanting to look better.
2. Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication
I did see a PT for a couple of months prior to coming to Body Basics. I really enjoyed the one-one-one experience during PT and it is there I thought I might enjoy/benefit from working with a personal trainer.
3. How did you hear about BodyBasics?
I googled “personal trainers in NW Tucson” I found the website and it really resonated with me, especially the client testimonials.
4. Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?
I tried cross training for a short time. I did enjoy the energy there, but after a couple of injuries I realized it wasn’t right for me. BodyBasics provides the personalized instructed, encouragement and feedback I need to stay injury free and see results.
5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
From the moment I called BodyBasics and spoke with Ben I knew that this was a special place. Ben engaged me in an open and honest conversation about what I was seeking and really took the time to hear me. The first time I went to BodyBasics I was greeted by name by Ben at the front desk.
After meeting Chris for an assessment, I was sold! Not only was it apparent that Chris is an expert in health and fitness, it was evident that Chris has a passion for helping his clients be the best they can be.
6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?
My initial goals were to improve my overall strength and balance and thereby reduce pain in my joints.
7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?
I have been training here 3 days a week for 7 months. My balance, strength and confidence in my training program have all increased dramatically. While I still have some mild joint pain, it has decreased significantly. Not only have I met my initial goals, I have enjoyed every moment of it! I always leave with a smile. The consistency of working out 3 days a week at the same time has also really helped to create balance in my hectic work week.
8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?
My intent is to continue to improve my technique in all areas of my program and continue to safely discover my innate physical and athletic abilities.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Maria Regan ~ referred by a co-worker!
Dawn Cleary ~ referred by our wonderful client Hapi Kendall
Carole Bischof ~ referred by Patty Trout, NMT
Yvette Driscoll-Roos ~ referred by Dr. Tait, owner of Rejuv Medical Southwest
Mike Jones ~ Found us doing a Google search
Polly Page ~ referred by our wonderful past client Sherry Hansen
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Recipe – Slow Cooker Turkey Black Bean Chili
As the temperatures are finally getting cooler and our schedules are getting busier with the holidays, I thought this healthy chili recipe would be perfect to share. Just mix all the ingredients together and let it sit as you go about your busy day. Come home to a perfect meal all ready to enjoy!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 28oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cans black beans (15oz each), drained and rinsed
- 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 2/3 cup frozen corn (half of a one pound bag)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Add all ingredients to your slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
- Break apart turkey and stir.
Recipe from New Leaf Wellness.
Exercise Video of the Month – Stable Hips for Hiking
(We got a little wild and crazy in the background so please turn up your volume when Tracey starts to talk)
The ICS Gifts of Love program is a way to match families in need with donors and groups (faith communities, schools, businesses, civic organizations) who are willing to help meet seasonal needs. This year we are helping family of 9 have a brighter holiday.
This will be BodyBasics 7th year participating in this wonderful program. We are collecting items now thru December 13th. It’s easy to participate, simply take an ornament from the tree and bring back the wish on the back. For more information on ICS and the Gift of Love program, click here.
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Ben and Amanda