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The example age demographics of physiotherapy | Life stages series | Age 55-62:

Bored now, I want to get off the treadmill please!


Time to enjoy yourself


Day to day life may have revolved around you or your partner working all your life to get to a stage when you have enough, or think you do, to get off the treadmill and enjoy yourself. Retirement can be a real leveller in focusing on the things that are important to you with the time you have left. Sounds a bit grim but, for many, work provides a structure that has dictated their lives for years and this is sometimes difficult to give up. Once the leap of freedom is taken, many find their time consumed by family, holidays, friends, hobbies and the like and wonder why they didn’t do it earlier. Of course, health may well dictate how you achieve your objectives.


Getting the health and wellbeing planning right at this stage of life is vital and there are many exercise and health options to consider. It is good to see the range of solutions available and some of these have been featured on this blog page through our guest blogs. Even more reason to take good advice to meet your needs. With the probability that the children have left home, and possibly with a few years until the grandchildren arrive, there’s all to play for.


It’s been a working lifetime coming, but what should you consider as you get off the treadmill?


How can physiotherapy help?


As we get older our ability to maintain a healthy weight becomes more difficult as our metabolism slows down. As our body fat content increases, we simultaneously lose lean tissue as our muscles become smaller, less dense and weaker. It is also well documented that an individual may lose one to three inches in height as they age, due to changes in bones, joints and muscle mass. A combination of smaller leg muscles, stiffer joints and increased body fat can affect an individual’s balance. Alongside diminishing coordination and flexibility there is a marked increase in the risk of falling. In addition to physical changes, our memory and thinking skills can also be affected; an ability to multi-task and remember familiar dates, names or words may also become more difficult.


Such changes cannot be avoided; however, we can make choices about our lifestyles, such as diet and exercise, to either speed up or slow down the natural ageing process.


What can you do to help?


To maintain a healthy weight and promote bone, joint, muscle and cognitive health, it is imperative that you include regular, moderate intensity physical activity in your weekly routine. If previously an inactive individual, NHS.co.uk suggests 150 minutes per week and this can include hobbies such as riding a bike, water aerobics, dance for fitness, pushing a lawn mower, doubles tennis and hiking.


As with all new pursuits, it is normal practice to introduce them gradually, building up slowly until recommended activity levels are achieved. In addition to a more active weekly routine and working in conjunction with your physiotherapist, the commencement of a specific home exercise programme, tailored to work on strength, flexibility and balance, can be progressed over a set period. With guidance, such plans can help you achieve your goals, whilst aiming to keep any barriers to realising your potential to a minimum.


Contact Life Made Simple Physiotherapy

We hope the eighth in this series of age-related blogs is helpful as we enter 2022. We hope you will see that thinking about your physiotherapy care is important and chatting through what you anticipate and expect is part of that process. Please do contact Life Made Simple Physiotherapy by email at Physio@lifemadesimple.co.uk , or by telephone on 07309 272 555 for your individual physiotherapy needs and care.


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