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Aging comes with its fair share of challenges, including a decline in certain physical abilities such as strength, swiftness, and stamina, as well as unwanted changes that occur in coordinating the movements of the body. The metabolism slows down 5% every decade after 40, and people over the age of 40 may lose up to 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade, and the rate of decline may double after the age of 70. Nearly 1 in 3 people over 50 years of age will experience sarcopenia, which is defined as “an age related, involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength.” Fortunately, there are ways to help slow or prevent muscle loss and even improve your strength and coordination. Consider the following suggestions to stay strong and coordinated as you age, provided by a variety of sources: 

  • Exercise: Engaging in regular exercise, including resistance training, can help maintain muscle and strength. The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (anything that makes the heart beat faster) each week and at least 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity. When older adults are unable to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
    • Eat nutritiously: Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Eating healthy snacks and well-balanced meals that are full of foods known to encourage brain health can help improve coordination, agility, and strength. 
    • Create your own wellness team: Work with your doctor to treat diseases that may interfere with your ability to exercise, (e.g., orthopedic injuries, cataracts and other eye problems, Parkinson’s, and other movement disorders, etc.). Heed advice from coaches, trainers, and teachers to improve your exercise skills and/ or eating habits. 
  • Get enough sleep: Insomnia is one of the most common, but often underdiagnosed, sleep disorders encountered in the geriatric population. Sleep patterns naturally shift as one ages. This can partially be attributed to the changes in the production of hormones (e.g., melatonin and cortisol) which can interfere with coordinating the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) and contribute to disrupted sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation adults between the ages of twenty-six and sixty-four should obtain between seven to nine hours of sleep, and adults older than sixty-five years of age are recommended to get between seven to eight hours of sleep, nightly. 

For Information and Support

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com

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