Think you are slowing down with age? Maybe not!
Body changes in midlife and legacy years for most people include a change in movement. Even acknowledging these changes, with statements like “am slowing down, I can’t do what I used to, I am getting old, can bring up fear. What is the future going to look like if my body is shutting down now?
It takes a lot of courage to even notice this is happening. It takes even more courage to explore what this really means. We live in a society that is discouraging movement with modern conveniences. We live in our body which is a moving machine. Kind of confusing to sort out for the average person who does not study movement.
When we are young, we have preferences about the type of movement we enjoy. Some people like a lot of fast spinning movement: gymnastics, skiing, ice skating, and rollerblading. Others prefer more linear type movements: running, biking, sports, precision coordination. Then there are those who enjoy self-exploratory movement styles involving in music, dance, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, weight lifting.
The movement styles you preferred in your earlier years can give you some clues as to the types of movement you would most enjoy as you age. Whatever your preference, what is important is that you are creating these movement opportunities. If not, here comes the need for courage and a bit of useful information.
Aging and movement limitations are not the same thing. Noticing you are slowing down is an opportunity to look at what types of movement activities you do enjoy and how to create the movement patterns in your body to get you there.
One of the most misunderstood areas of movement is balance. Most people who are showing signs of balance problems often mistake them for loosing strength or chalk it up to aging. What is usually going on is are well developed compensation patterns with accompanying balance problems.
Balance is well worth paying attention to. The risk of falls is greater for women than men. According to the World Health Organization, 28 to 35% of people over 65 have falls. Without going into the depressing details of what can happen as a result of injury, the bright side is if you recognize your risks early, there is so much you can easily do.
Here are some early warning signs of a decline in balance.
Needing a handrail to walk down stairs.
Difficulty reaching down to take out garbage or doing laundry.
Lacking confidence doing new activity for fear of getting hurt.
Difficulty tying shoes either in the home or out of the home.
Difficulty reaching up on your tip toes for something above your head.
Reluctance to being around fast-moving children or pets for fear of going off balance
If any of these sound familiar, there is a lot you can do. The same movement pattern processes that got you here can also get you out. Seek professional help and start enjoying movement again; regardless of your age!