This week’s guest blogger today is PT Sue! She is a registered physical therapist who will give monthly tips for keeping seniors in motion here at LivHOME! Sue will provide you information on ways to keep seniors active to promote a healthy lifestyle.
“ Activities of daily living” refers to all the activities that we do each and every day such as dressing, toileting, cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening which all seem to require more strength, endurance, and balance with every passing year. And on top of it, you have to think and sometimes it is just easier not to think.
The best approach is to start fighting back as you can even with medical problems. Eating properly, taking your medications per your doctor’s orders, following up with your physicians are all essential to try to stay ahead of the game. And, exercise is definitely part of that game. Strength, power, and endurance decline with aging but studies clearly show that exercise can definitely positively influence and improve the situation and will help you keep going mentally and physically. A regular program of exercise, especially combined with walking, will help to keep muscles stronger, endurance improved, joints more accustomed to demand, balance steadier, and cardio-vascular/respiratory functions more “tuned up”. Let us now examine some of the specific muscle groups that are required to stay in as good shape as possible for you to be as successful as possible in maintaining as high a level of independence in activities of daily living.
Some of the upper body tasks most common for activities of daily living include:
1) Bathing, toileting, and dressing, including socks and shoes.
2) Eating, including cutting up the food.
3) Holding your favorite book and holding and playing with grandchildren and pets
The muscles that you need to concentrate on to keep or build up strength, power, endurance, and flexibility include: the upper and lower back; shoulders, arms, and forearms; the chest wall; and the wrist and hands for grip.
The lower body also has an important role in keeping up in order to perform the activities of daily living. Examples of the tasks include:
1) Walking, steps, stairs, and balance.
2) Getting in and out of bed, a chair, toilet, or tub.
The muscles that you need to concentrate on to keep or build up strength, power, and endurance include: the low back; buttocks; stomach; and hips, knees, and ankles.
As you age it gets a little harder and less automatic for the muscles to stay strong and the joints to stay limber. Normal stiffening occurs in every body along with other health and aging problems. There is no magic, no secret, and no easy “fix” to staying in shape. If you want to keep active, you must work to stay active. The older you become, the more this is true. Your decisions do make a difference. And, do not forget to laugh at least once a day along the way!