Key to Senior Fitness: Chiropractic Care, Healthy Lifestyle

Over the hill at age 65? Ready for the rocker at 70? Not these days. Americans are living longer and making more of their later years. One key is exercise.

"Perhaps the most debilitating influence in people's health as they age is a sedentary life," said Dr. Jerome McAndrews, national spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). "Exercise of some type is all but mandatory."

Otherwise, an individual may set him or herself up for broken bones, circulation problems caused by atrophying blood vessels, and a myriad of other physical problems associated with aging.

"Exercise, however, can improve a person's mobility, digestive processes and circulation. It can also reduce anxiety. Add proper nutrition and you have the makings of a naturally healthy lifestyle," said Dr. McAndrews. "Following a healthy diet is another way of extending your golden years as long as possible."

Here are some general guidelines to help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle:

Walking

  • Walking improves elasticity in blood vessels, which makes them less susceptible to formation of aneurysms or rupture.
  • Start with one-third of a mile per day - one-sixth out and one-sixth back. (Measure the distance with your car.) Do that three days a week for a month, then double the distance, working gradually up to at least one mile a day, three days a week.
  • Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two. If you experience more than soreness, check with your chiropractor.

Stretching

  • The average person should stretch to prevent the bowing or stoop caused by shortening of ligaments. A stoop can inhibit normal breathing.
  • Stretch the groin muscles by sitting on the floor and bending one leg to the side and back as far as possible. Or sit Indian fashion on a cushion and watch television. A relaxed stretch is the goal.
  • Stretch the back leg muscles by putting your hands on a wall, one foot flat on the floor behind you. Then lean into the wall. Or stand up straight and bend over. Or sit with one foot on an ottoman and bend forward.

Eating Right

  • Make sure you have a properly balanced diet. If you take vitamins, take them with a meal. Drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to help keep the kidneys active, dilute and remove toxins from the body, and replace lost fluids. (Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are diuretics. Don't substitute them for water.)

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Testimonials

"I struggled with back pain for 4 years prior to seeking help for my Scoliosis. I decided after visiting Dr. Breidenbach that it was worth the financial commitment and time dedication to go through the CLEAR scoliosis treatment. My pain throughout the 4 years was more of an extreme discomfort and occasional immobilization from immense pain spikes. My biggest problems occurred when I was on my feet for long periods of time, sitting for too long, and any type of consecutive lifting. It was emotionally draining because no matter what stretches, exercises or methods I tried, nothing seemed to work.
My pain level now, after completing the 4 month treatment program and continuing my at-home protocol, is extremely low and very manageable. The only time I experience discomfort is after very long days on my feet, which still only results in minor soreness. I am so much happier and less stressed about everyday activities, and can do so much more than before. My Cobb angle also improved from 13.8 degrees down to 4 degrees (71% improvement).
I would suggest the CLEAR scoliosis Center of La Crosse to anyone that experiences pain and dysfunction with scoliosis. The whole staff was extremely kind and supportive, while also maintaining a high level of professionalism. I am so happy to have a normal life without the constant annoyance and discomfort of pain from scoliosis.

Megan