In our youth we take many things for granted – our health, time, money, high metabolism, and there will be food on the table when we get home. We have a sense of immortality, that nothing bad will happen to us. It is the gift of our youth, ignorance. You can tell by how kid behave on the playground this sense of innocence. Climbing, running, swinging, it seems they are showcasing the benefits of their youth. Compare this to those who are living in a nursing home. The sharp contrast in both the mobility and stability between the two groups is obvious.
Mobility implies freedom. The freedom to move from one place to another. The ideal is the ability to move easily and without pain. Stability, on the other hand, implies strength and steadiness. Children manifest both. The older we get, the more we need to work to keep both. However, the reality is that we don’t appreciate what we have until it is gone. According to the most recent statistics published by the CDC, over a third of U.S. adults are obese (11/2015). But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to the extra weight, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers are also connected to obesity. So, what happened? In one word, life happened.
Mobility and stability are not only for the young. Granted, it is easier for our youth to be like that because not enough life has happened yet. However, as we age, keeping our mobility and stability is essential to living well and here’s why. Mobility is freedom. Being mobile allows us to remain active which helps keep us fit. Stability helps to prevent falls. Falls, especially in older people, contribute to broken bones and other injuries. These consequences of falls can affect our mobility which in turn can affect our weight and create further health issues.
At DCW, we help our patients with both mobility and stability through our Rehabilitation Department. We make it a priority to individualize treatment plans to ensure each patient can improve their ability to move without pain. We also incorporate balance exercises to strengthen stability. While we cannot be young again, it doesn’t mean we can’t reverse the effects of time on our body and regain our movement.