This is a list of tips from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on how to stay active and healthy through the decades.
Tips for 20s:
Be active 30 minutes per day to make it a habit for life. Regular exercise in the present is a great way to keep serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes out of your future.
Did you realize bones begin losing density in your mid-20s? Then put down your smartphone and get up and move! Dance. Jump rope, Walk, Run. Weight-bearing exercises are key to avoiding osteoporosis later in life.
Tips for 30s:
Feeling pressed for time? Chances are you’re being asked to do more at work and at home. But this isn’t the time to cut corners with your health. Make sure you continue to eat well, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly.
Saving for retirement? Adopt the same attitude about your long-term health. Just like a financial planner can make sure you’re putting enough money in the bank, a physical therapist can evaluate your current weaknesses and outline a plan to make them future strengths.
Testing your physical limits? Many people in their 30s challenge themselves with road races, bike rides, and obstacle courses. These activities are an excellent way to stay motivated and active. But be sensible, too. Ease into new routines and allow your body time to adjust to stresses that could lead to injury.
Tips for 40s:
Stand up for your health! Some inactivity researchers believe that prolonged sitting is so detrimental to your health that exercise doesn’t offset its negative effects. So get up from sitting at least once an hour and more often if you can.
It’s time to diversify. Does your exercise routine include aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility activities? If not, have a physical therapist evaluate you and make recommendations for safely addressing areas you’re neglecting.
Don’t start acting “over the hill.” Sure, aches and pains may increase in your 40s. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Act your age by doing something about it. Physical therapists can often treat your pain without the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription medication. What are you waiting for?
Look for upcoming tips to help you age well through your fifties, sixties and beyond.
Reference: APTA.org. Healthy Tips for Each Decade. https://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/healthy-tips-each-decade-2
Submitted by: Katesel Strimbeck PT, MS is the Director of Rehabilitation Services at North Country Hospital. Katesel has been a practicing PT for 19 years. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).