Have you seen those photos that, using age progression, open a window into your future, showing what you’ll look like at 30, 40 or even 80? Technology has taken it a step further, creating a futuristic body-suit – the R70i – that simulates the effect of aging on your body.
Once you’re strapped in, you might see through cataracts, grow annoyed at the ringing in your ears, and take a walk through the park in what feels like a pair of cement boots. But unlike the photos, where you’ll always have Grandpa Joe’s nose, there are choices you can make now to stave off the most common geriatric complaints. And in January, our focus at the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is on the role chiropractic care plays in securing and regaining your mobility and independence.
It is something all doctors of chiropractic learn in their 7+ years of education, and many pursue it further in post-doctorate studies. And true to the natural, drug-free philosophy of strengthening your body so it can do the job intended, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help yourself as well. Proper nutrition, for example, makes a big difference, and again, is something a doctor of chiropractic is trained to help you navigate.
While the R70i suit can create empathy for our seniors, here’s another view of your future:
• Start with doing what you can to lessen the changes that come with age. Stay physically active; you’ve probably heard that a sedentary lifestyle is our generation’s cigarettes. Make an effort to remain socially connected with friends and family. Look for balance in your diet, and replace fast food with high-fiber and low-fat foods. Get enough sleep, and don’t be afraid to take the occasional nap to compensate for a poor night’s sleep. Finally, stay current on your routine physicals, which will help catch issues before they turn into problems.
• Visit a doctor of chiropractic. Studies show that, in addition to relieving chronic pain, alignments of the spine can increase your range of motion, balance, and coordination and decrease your chance of falling. Dr. Ian Coulter from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College published a study that showed less than five percent of seniors using chiropractic care were living in a nursing home, compared to 48 percent in the non-chiropractic group!
• While proper nutrition, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep does wonders for your mental health, there’s also some truth in the old “use it or lose it” adage. Challenge your brain with games, puzzles, and stimulating conversation. And, there’s nothing like an attitude of gratitude for cultivating peace of mind. Reaching out to others less fortunate, whether it is dropping off meals to the home-bound or rocking babies in your local hospital’s NICU, is a sure way to remind yourself of all that’s good in your life.