A lot of times we hear people say, “I am hurt because I am old” and “It’s just the old age…” when coming in to seek physical therapy help. But why is this? Generally, when aging, people tend to decrease their level of activity compared to their “youthful” selves. Hence, when people feel like it is their age that brought them to physical therapy, it really is their change or just lack of physical activity.
What can you do to prevent that from happening?
We have posted a few blogs addressing goal setting and creating exercise programs that stick. However, a new concept was created by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Vonda Wright, in order to prevent injury, decrease the aging process and maintain athletic performance. Dr. Wright encourages everyone to F.A.C.E their future.
- F- flexibility
- A-aerobic exercise
- C- carrying a load
“Focused dynamic stretching of every major muscle group daily. Hold each stretch for a full 30 seconds and repeat 4 times to stretch muscles and tendons out to their optimal performance length.” But don’t just listen to us. Because there is a lot of controversy on static stretching, here is a section that has been copied from a recent research study that summarized all current research on stretching. “Recent evidence suggests that when included in a full warm-up routine, short-duration static stretching may even contribute to lower the risk of sustaining musculotendinous injuries especially with high-intensity activities.”
Physical exercise is one of the most effective methods to help prevent cardiovascular disease and to promote cardiovascular health.
Dr. Wright in her blog recommends challenging your heart and lungs intensely every other day. She also recommends mixing up your training methods to prevent overuse injury.2
C-Carry a Load
Resistance training through a functional range of motion is a must. 3-5 times a week. Use your own body weight or bands if iron doesn’t appeal to you.
You may also refer to our previous blog on resistance training to assist you with programming.
It is no secret that our balance deteriorates rapidly with age. We have significantly more reported falls and injuries due to loss of balance.
With a little daily work, Dr Wright says you can retrain your body to keep you upright on the roads or trails.
A study published in December of 2020 suggested working on static balance tests, such as simply just challenging your balance while standing on one leg, presented with the higher positive effects of training, compared with dynamic tests. The study suggests that balance training exercises including lateral, forward, and backward exercises improved static balance to a greater extent in older women specifically.
Zouita, S., Zouhal, H., Ferchichi, H., Paillard, T., Dziri, C., Hackney, A. C., Laher, I., Granacher, U., & Ben Moussa Zouita, A. (2020). Effects of Combined Balance and Strength Training on Measures of Balance and Muscle Strength in Older Women With a History of Falls. Frontiers in physiology, 11, 619016. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.619016
Chaabene, H., Behm, D. G., Negra, Y., & Granacher, U. (2019). Acute Effects of Static Stretching on Muscle Strength and Power: An Attempt to Clarify Previous Caveats. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 1468. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01468
Patel, H., Alkhawam, H., Madanieh, R., Shah, N., Kosmas, C. E., & Vittorio, T. J. (2017). Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system. World journal of cardiology, 9(2), 134–138.