Are you feeling a little more achy than usual? Slower on your feet? Or struggling to get up from your chair? You can’t turn back the clock, but there are things you can do to reduce your aches and pains, and feel a little more like you used to, or maintain the way you are if you still feel great.
Is it medical or just getting older?
Joint or muscle pain can be a sign of a medical problem that can be resolved. If you’re experiencing sudden pain or aches that you haven't noticed before, or are in severe pain, then make sure you get it checked by your GP. Even if you’ve had the pain for a while and it’s manageable, getting yourself checked over to rule out any medical problems can put your mind at ease.
It’s just part of old age, right?
Aches and pains are a natural part of growing older and some are inevitable. As we age, our muscles and bones tend to get weaker which can result in pain. However, this doesn’t mean we just have to accept them; if your aches and pains aren’t due to medical reasons, there are things that you can do to ease them.
How to reduce pain and discomfort
As aches and pains are often due to weakened bones and muscles, one of the best things you can do is to start exercising. Sometimes the thought of exercising can be daunting and feel like the last thing you want to do, but exercise can take on many different forms – it doesn’t have to be boring, or a chore!
A 2013 study published in BMJ found exercise programs reduce serious injuries by 43%, broken bones by 61%, and falls that cause injuries by 37%.
Some areas to focus on are:
Balance and coordination - As you get older, you may notice your balance is getting worse or you feel a little more unsteady on your feet than before. Choosing exercises that work on enhancing your balance and coordination, like yoga or pilates, can help strengthen your muscles, improve your posture and even help relieve stress.
Work your muscles - One of the best ways to stop your muscles and bones from getting weaker is to use them. Incorporating strength training into your life is a great way to prevent your muscles from getting weaker and can even help make them stronger. Read our blogs on why you should consider strength training as you get older or how to get started with strength training as you get older. If strength training isn’t up your street, then going on walks, bike rides or attending exercise classes, are all great ways to engage and strengthen your muscles.
Look at your diet
Certain types of food can have amazing effects on the body. Even though joint pain can be the result of inactivity, it can also be due to inflammation caused by an injury or from eating certain foods. Filling your diet with food that fights inflammation, for example adding berries to your morning porridge or enjoying salmon as part of your evening meal, can help reduce inflammation in your joints. Take a look at your diet and try to reduce the number of foods that are high in saturated fats or sugar, and eat them in moderation as eating these foods can result in higher inflammation in the body.
If you want more information on what to eat, read our blog on 5 foods that will make you feel your best.
Take care of yourself
Exercise and eating good foods are excellent ways to help relieve aches and pains but taking good general care of yourself is also a great way to feel better.
Some of our top tips on looking after yourself are:
● Have supportive furniture - If you find yourself sitting down a lot, whether that’s to relax or for work, making sure you have supportive, ergonomic furniture can help relieve back and neck pain. Ensure you’re not sleeping on a worn-out mattress – a lot of back and neck pain is caused by being unsupported while sleeping.
● Daily stretching - Make sure you regularly stand up, walk about, and stretch your arms and legs; this can help keep your joints from getting stiff and painful.
● Get regular massages - Regular massages can help relieve pain by relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints. They can also help reduce your overall anxiety and stress.
● Don’t overdo it - As we get older, you may find that you can’t do the things you used to which can be frustrating – but overdoing it can result in injury. Be sensible and make sure you’re not pushing yourself too much.
How we can help
One of the many benefits of living in an Inspired village is that we have wellbeing navigators who can work with you on reaching your fitness goals and arrange lots of activities for you to take part in. ‘Pool Pilates’, paddle boarding, cycling and walking challenges, as well as stretch and tone classes (or ‘stretch and groan’ as our residents call them!) are just a small sample of what we offer.
Our villages also have fantastic exercise facilities such as pools, fitness studios offering classes, and gyms with specialist strength-oriented equipment that provide workouts tailored to each individual. Veronica Pert, a resident at Millbrook Village, says, “I feel fitter here now than I’ve ever done.”.
If you’d like to find out more about us and the benefits and attractions of renting or buying a home in an Inspired village, get in touch today or read our blog on the benefits of living in a retirement village.
Want to find out more?
We run events at our Inspired Villages all year around. Join our mailing list to get all of the updates on our future events.