Older Americans are more active than ever. The Baby Boomer generation – typically defined as individuals born between 1946 and 1964 – are approaching retirement and have more free time. A lot of that free time is increasingly devoted to physical activity. Compared to generations of the past, the Baby Boomers are athletes. They play sports, cycle, run, ski, and swim. And while all this activity has tremendous health and psychological benefits, there is an understandable wear and tear on the body that occurs. Baby Boomers, while often healthier than their predecessors, are making more trips to orthopedic surgeons, dealing with eroded joints and sore muscles. As we age, our cartilage softens and muscle mass decreases. The Mayo Clinic March newsletter describes this physical decline as the "Achilles' heel of a fit generation." But it looks like these health concerns aren’t slowing Baby Boomers down. In fact, they are investing more than ever in their bodies so they can prolong their active lifestyle.
There are several options for active Baby Boomers, looking to get more from their aging bodies. Strength training is the best preventative measure a Baby Boomer can take. Strategic weight lifting can replace diminished muscle mass and prevent ligament erosion. Physicians also recommend increasing flexibility and range of motion, which can reduce the likelihood of sports injury. If possible, replace high impact sports with low-impact ones, such as swimming and biking. Depending on the sport, supportive braces can help stabilize joints and ligaments that undergo a lot of repetitive movement. For example, soccer players, skiers and runners frequently experience knee issues. A hinged knee brace might make the difference between invasive surgery and three more years of sports participation. Tennis players, on the other hand, experience elbow issues and might consider a soft elbow brace to provide support and pressure during matches. The good news is, Orthopedic braces have come a long way since their inception in the 1780's. Many utilize state-of-the-art engineering and materials, making the brace a comfortable, near-extension of the human body.
Medical experts agree while physical injury is a risk; everyone at every age should strive for high levels of fitness. Not only does it prolong life, but it improves memory, guards against depression, and is just plain fun!
About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality back braces, and a wide selection of knee braces, including hinged knee braces, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.