Embracing a Youthful Spine: Our Active Ageing Checklist
Combatting the Effects of Ageing in a Modern World
In today’s fast-paced world, where our lifestyles often revolve around technology and sedentary habits, poor-posture is cited by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) as one of the main causes of back and neck pain in the over 55’s! The good news is that with a proactive approach, we can combat the negative effects and promote a more youthful spine.
Poor posture associated with spending too much time in a sedentary position (watching TV, or simply seated) is causing unnecessary wear-and-tear on the spine & having a negative impact on back health for a vast proportion of over 55s. As well as struggling with daily pain, people over 55 also suffer degeneration and can require surgery.
It’s a physical issue patients at Life Chiropractic are frequently presenting. “Between the ages of 50 and 70 we loose about 30% of our muscle strength, balance reaction times become slower and so do reflexes”, says Life Chiropractic Practitioner Tom Pooley.
“It’s also true that the body heals differently. This can cause many people to slow down in retirement, but, in fact the more active my patients are, the more effectively they offset the effects of ageing. Neck and back pain, muscle strain, pinched nerves and herniated disks are not an inevitable part of getting older.”
Let’s explore some effective strategies to defy the natural ageing process and keep your spine in top condition:
Prioritise Posture in the Digital Age:
The prevalence of desk jobs and prolonged hours spent on electronic devices has led to a significant increase in poor posture. Combat this by being mindful of your posture throughout the day. Invest in ergonomic chairs and desks, take breaks to stretch, and consider incorporating posture-improving exercises into your routine.
Stay Active, Stay Youthful:
Regular physical activity is a key player in maintaining a healthy spine. Engage in exercises that focus on strengthening your core and back muscles. Incorporate a mix of aerobic activities, such as walking or swimming, to improve overall flexibility and reduce the risk of age-related spinal issues.
Tech Neck Prevention:
The constant use of smartphones and tablets often leads to a condition colloquially known as “tech neck.” Combat this by holding your devices at eye level to reduce strain on your neck and spine. Practice neck stretches and exercises to alleviate tension and prevent long-term damage.
Mindful Movement Practices:
Explore holistic practices like yoga and tai chi, which not only promote physical well-being but also enhance mental clarity. These low-impact exercises contribute to improved flexibility, balance, and posture, crucial elements in maintaining a youthful spine.
Nutrition for Spinal Health:
What you eat plays a vital role in the health of your spine. Ensure your diet includes foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients essential for bone health. Hydration is equally important, as water supports the discs in your spine, aiding in shock absorption.
Regular Chiropractic Care:
Consider integrating regular chiropractic visits into your wellness routine. Chiropractors can provide targeted adjustments that align the spine, reduce inflammation, and enhance overall spinal health. This proactive approach can prevent age-related issues and promote optimal function.
Stress can take a toll on your spine, contributing to tension and discomfort. Incorporate stress-reducing practices such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine. A relaxed mind contributes to a more relaxed and resilient spine.
Some other great tips as part of our Active Ageing Checklist:
- Relax and roll your shoulders. Aim for 10 rolls forwards, and 10 rolls back, every few hours.
- Sit up straight to avoid developing a stooped posture. Use your core!
- Find a local strength & balance class. T’ai Chi is great!
- Exercise for 30 minutes. Then make sure I do this 5 times a week. Housework and walking the dog counts, but also consider more vigorous activities like cycling, power walking, water areobics and Zumba.
- Go shopping! Buy some flat, flexible & supportive footwear and then practice walking heel to toe. Pushing off from the toe allows your foot to act as a shock absorber, propelling you forwards and preventing damage.
- Top up on vitamin D. Enjoy the sunshine in the name of good bone health. Or, if the wonderfully unpredictable British weather prevents this invest in a good quality vitamin D supplement instead.
- Drink 1.5 litres of water. The body works better when well hydrated. Your muscles and joints will work more efficiently and for longer.
- Book an appointment with a professional chiropractor for advice and hands-on treatment. This will help combat spinal misalignment or dysfunction.
As we navigate the challenges of a modern lifestyle, it’s crucial to prioritise the health of our spine. By adopting these proactive measures, you can combat the natural ageing process and promote a more youthful, resilient spine. Embrace these habits, make them a part of your daily life, and enjoy the benefits of a spine that defies the test of time.
Your future spine will thank you for the care and attention you show it now, providing the foundation for a vibrant and active life, regardless of age.
Make chiropractic care part of your healthy lifestyle.
Call today to arrange an appointment or book online.
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- Research carried out in 2012 by the British Chiropractic Association shows that 48% of people in the UK are currently suffering from back or neck pain, with 73% believing that they are less active than they were 20 years ago. Discover more here.