5 Action Steps to Take Today to Start Aging Well

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Whether you're 15, 35, or 75 years old, newsflash... you are aging! 

Might as well take control and decide how you want to age. 

It's never too early to start to think about aging, and if you aren't happy with how you're aging it's never too late to start. 

At our clinic, we've had the pleasure of working with adults all the way up to 102 years old who report their quality of life as very high. And that is because their daily habits support their longevity. So... we've been keeping track of what these habits are so we can help others do the same. 

There are an infinite amount of actions you can take to age gracefully, but we listed out the action steps that will give the greatest impact for the effort put in.

Always remember, aging can be what you want it to be.

1. Think Positive

We probably sound...

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25 Movement Tips to Be More Active Today

Think you can’t find enough time in your day to exercise? You’re likely just missing out on opportunities to move more throughout your day without changing much.

Try out any one of these movement tips to get more action out of your day!

  1. Sit on the floor instead of the couch.
  2. Put your laundry basket on the floor and squat to fold your laundry.
  3. Squat to unload your dishwasher.
  4. Stretch your calves or mobilize your feet while you wash your dishes, brush your teeth, watch TV, drink your coffee, etc.
  5. Pull all the weeds in your yard by hand instead of using weed killers (bonus as this is better for the environment too)!
  6. Park in the back of the parking lot.
  7. Take the elevator instead of the stairs.
  8. Use less convenient appliances.
  9. Make your chores less efficient. For example, put the laundry basket in a different room than where you are putting the clothes away to get a few more steps in.
  10. Use a drying rack or clothes line instead of the dryer. This not only decreases...
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For Better Health, Be Like a KidĀ Again

The other night, I was watching my one-year-old son attempt to pick up a garden hose in the backyard. Starting in a deep squat, he kept trying to stand up with an object that was heavy relative to his size. Standing unsupported is a skill he's yet to master, and here he was trying this unknown skill to him. After about 50 tries, he finally got it and I'll never forget that smile on his face.

 
Watching my children grow over the last few years, I've realized kids are invigorated by the most difficult of physical challenges. Curiosity to learn about their surroundings results in physical skills like crawling and walking. The connection between physical movement and brain development is clear in children.
 
I'm not sure where we lost this as adults, but keeping this same curiosity would solve most of our health problems. Adopting a child's approach brings mindfulness to movement, paving the way for healthier aging. Here's what you can take from this example to...
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What is a Floor Transfer?

 

Why do we care so much about your ability to get on and off the floor?
 
Because the ability to get on and off the floor without the use of your hands is a strong physical predictor of early disability and death.
 
This is why one of the first skills we cover with new clients is getting on and off the floor. Not only is this a life-saving skill but it's also one of our favorite exercises for healthy aging!
 
There are an infinite number of ways you can get on and off the floor, as well as unlimited options for sitting positions once you are on the floor. The confidence to know you can safely and easily get off the floor decreases your future risk of falls!
 
If you're currently able to get yourself on and off the floor, continue to practice this skill daily. If you are unsure, see a physical or occupational therapist for a floor transfer test. 
 
A floor transfer test is nothing fancy. As shown in the pictures above, the...
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Your Mindset About Aging is Impacting How You Age

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about aging?

Do you imagine a life of limiting what you enjoy because of medical conditions? A time of decline? A life full of doctor's appointments?

Or do you imagine a life full of vitality? Feeling amazing so you can continue to do all the things you love well into your golden years?

We hope imagine the latter, but unfortunately most only picture the first scenario.

How We View Aging 

It's an understatement to say that our society holds tightly to a negative view of aging. It's pervasive in the ways we talk about older adults and also very apparent in advertising. It seems we are on a never-ending quest for “anti-aging” everything.

We often make the mistake of associating aging with decline, and these views impact the way in which older adults view their health. We make assumptions we'll decline both mentally and physically as we age.

But are we really declining because of age itself or because our views...

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5 Lessons Learned From Studying My Own Movement

Last month I attended a Move Your DNA weekend workshop at Boomerang Pilates in Toronto hosted by a Nutritious Movement Certified RES. If you aren't familiar, this workshop is for anyone who has read Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman, MS to refine the exercises covered in the book.

The book uses biomechanics as a lens to explore how our environment has shaped our movement and vice versa, encouraging the reader to take ownership of their health. We spent the weekend exploring the use of corrective exercise and body alignment work to move toward more natural movement. 

For me, this weekend was a small part of a 2 year long process to become a certified RES, which involves nearly 350 hours of movement training. The program heavily emphasizes understanding of your own movement in order to help others improve theirs... which makes a lot of sense. 

My background is in physical therapy, meaning I spent the better part of the last 10 years extensively studying the human body,...

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Become a Student of Your Movement for Healthy Aging

When is the last time you really paid attention to how you're moving?

For most of us, the answer is likely not very much time at all, until there is a problem. We take our movement for granted until we have pain or weakness to remind us that it takes effort to use our body to get around. 

We've fallen into the bad habit of moving mindlessly throughout our day.

But, what if one of the keys to optimal health is to bring back thoughtfulness and reflection when it comes to how you move throughout your day? 

You don't have to wait until your quality of life has taken a hit to become a student of your movement. And in fact, to prevent your physical health from going downhill, you should adopt a learning mindset ASAP. 

Curious as to both why and how you should do this? Read on. 

Let's Break It Down Further...

As we've discussed in the past, movement is an essential component of health. And to take it a step further, the greater the quality of your movement, the greater...

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No Time to Exercise? Try This Instead.

Do you understand the health benefits of exercise but have always struggled to maintain a routine?

Or do you not know where to get started in the first place?

If this sounds like you, you are in the right place! 

If you struggle with exercise, it's possible to get more movement in your day with a few simple adjustments to your surroundings. And to illustrate this point, I will start with a story about a broken kitchen appliance.

What Your Kitchen Appliances Have to Do With Your Exercise Habits

About a month ago our food processor broke. Panic ensued. It was a much-loved kitchen appliance, one that we use daily for dishes like pesto and hummus. 

Rather than running out to buy a new one, however, we decided to see what would happen if we didn't replace it. At least not right away. It seems like an unconventional choice when we live in a world where we can replace anything instantly, but stay with me here. 

We used a little creativity to find ways to accomplish the...

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What You Need to Know About Your Low Back Pain

Are you one of the millions of people living with chronic low back pain?

Have you been told by a medical provider your pain is due to arthritis? That you have the spine of an 80 year old? Or there is nothing that can be done about your back pain?

If so, you aren't alone. And unfortunately, what is often left out of this discussion is the fact that aging of the spine is perfectly NORMAL. Yes, it's not even abnormal to start to see signs of arthritis on imaging as young as age 30.Arthritic changes within your joints do not automatically lead to chronic pain and limited quality of life. 

So, what gives and where is your back pain really coming from?

Why You Are Really More Likely to Experience Back Pain With Age

Age causes an increase low back pain for a variety of other reasons. About one in three older adults will experience low back pain. As we stated above, there are normal and expected changes in the spine that come with age include changes in posture,...

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The One Factor That Holds the Power to Change Your Life in an Instant

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford

Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Ever had a feeling something would go wrong, and then it did? It probably left you wondering if it was intuition, or if your bad feelings caused you to act differently than you would have, bringing about the negative outcome. The answer is likely the latter.

You've likely experienced this at one time or another, and are likely experiencing this every day without even being aware!

So how do you know if this is you?

Are you struggling with your health? Not feeling quite as energetic and confident as you hope you will someday?

You might be setting yourself up each and every day for a self-fulling prophecy when it comes to your health just by being in the wrong mindset.

When you believe something will go wrong, you set yourself up for failure. In healthcare, we see this every day. At a client's first visit we often hear stories of desperation and how...

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