Keeping up with your physical health should be a priority in every stage of life. It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies go through many different experiences, and getting worn down is inevitable.
That’s where physical therapy comes in. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for older adults is essential for well-being, and many senior living communities offer physical therapy among their services.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of physical therapy for seniors and some different types of activities that are ideal for balance and strength.
Physical Therapy Benefits
Physical therapy can help seniors who have suffered any illnesses or injuries that have resulted in a loss of essential motor functions. It also helps with chronic pain and soreness. Relying on physical therapy and going through the process can tackle any nagging weaknesses and stiffness you may have.
Some things you may encounter in a physical therapy session include:
- Low-impact aerobic training: increasing your heart rate without stressing your joints.
- Strengthening exercises: using machines and resistance bands to work on your core.
- Pain relief exercises: your physical therapist will target areas where you have pain.
- Massages: targeting injured or sore areas through intentional touch—a safe and proven way to relieve pain.
We all know the benefits of consistent physical activity, but what about physical therapy? The benefits of having a proper recovery cycle help to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With physical therapy, you can expect benefits like:
- Better balance
- Improved cardiovascular system
- Stronger muscles
- Pain relief
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased flexibility
Having access to good physical therapy options within your community is essential for self-care and improving your quality of life.
Physical Activity for Seniors
Before we dive into the benefits of physical therapy for seniors, it’s important to explore some physical activities that are ideal for older adults.
When discussing physical activities for seniors, there are 4 important areas to consider.
- Balance: seniors can be susceptible to dangerous falls. Including activities like yoga and tai chi can help maintain and build balance.
- Endurance: incorporating aerobic activities can increase your heart and breathing rates, which helps build cardiovascular endurance.
- Flexibility: stretching is essential for improving and maintaining your flexibility.
- Strength: strength training like weightlifting and resistance bands are good options to build and maintain muscle.
These activities can help maintain your physical health—but make sure you perform them in a controlled and safe environment. It’s important not to strain yourself. Patience and caution are key with any physical exercise.
With these activities in mind, let’s explore some challenges seniors can face when it comes to movement.
Challenges Seniors Can Face
Getting older can bring a fresh set of challenges—no matter how healthy you are and how active you’ve been. Your body undergoes many changes, and it becomes even more important to take care of your body and prioritize recovery.
Some of these challenges include:
- Weight gain
- Sleep problems
- Nutritional issues
Our bodies start slowing down as we age, which may lead to illness or injury. The realities of these challenges can be draining, and it’s great to have a way to combat them. Physical therapy is a wonderful tool that helps throughout the recovery process.
With these physical activities and challenges in mind, knowing the benefits of physical therapy can provide that spark of motivation!
Taking Great Care
Your physical health is not something to take for granted. Maintaining and working on your body is a long-term investment and becomes even more important as you age. Seniors need to keep physical therapy in mind as it’s a great way to maintain a comfortable quality of life.
Schedule a tour with your local senior living community today for more information.