Control Your Aging


From the Healing Bridge Physical Therapy


Fall 2004 Newsletter


By Nancy Hartung, BS PTA


How old or young your body is depends partially on your genetics. More importantly, the effects of exercise, good nutrition, and appropriate levels of sleep are significant in minimizing the effects of age related changes.


Exercise is your best defense to minimize bone loss. Muscle strength will directly correlate to bone strength. Research indicates that just 3-6 hours a week of moderate exercise will decrease risks for osteoporosis, cancer, and functional decline. This translates into just 30 – 60 minutes a day. Resistive exercises are most effective for preventing bone loss, and aquatic exercise is one of the most effective forms of exercise. In other words, in the water, you get it all: strengthening, cardiovascular endurance, stabilization, and balance training. And it’s fun!


The following list identifies top considerations for successful aging:


• Stay Active! 3 to 6 hours a week of moderate exercise. If you already have osteoporosis, the pool is the best place for you to exercise.


• Drink plenty of water interspersed throughout the day. Minimum amount: 60 oz. per day. A good rule of thumb- ½ your body weight in ounces per day


• Your body needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day (night). You don’t have to get it all at once. You have permission to take naps!!


• Your body needs all 42 nutrients to function well and properly. Eat unprocessed food as much as possible to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients and minimal non-nutritive calorie consumption.


• Cultivate positive relationships. Did you know research shows that folks who have positive attitudes and healthy relationships throughout their “golden years” live longer with fewer declines in function?


It’s never too late to get better. We can begin to make small positive lifestyle improvements to keep ourselves healthy, happy, and active. Aging can be a state of health and a healthy statement.