FEELING GREAT: Pinch health habits from the lifestyle-rich

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What’s the biggest, nastiest, ugliest and most painful problem that you’re likely to come across as a result of being inactive?

That’s the question I ask many of my patients.

And it’s a great motivator you can pinch from me to encourage you to think carefully about maintaining an active lifestyle.

Works perfectly if you are aged 50+.

And it could be wanting to avoid feeling permanently stiff, perhaps it’s the preservation of self determination, or self reliance or independence, meaning you can do things and go places like you’ve become used to, for many more year to come.

Whatever it is, it has to motivate you out of the temptation of days upon days of sitting on a couch and in front of the TV.

Confession time: But it’s not really from me to you. It’s a habit I picked up from some of the most active and healthy 50 years olds I’ve ever met.

And if you’ve ever caught yourself looking and thinking why so many other people around you appear to be happy and healthy, even at their age, then here’s another habit of the lifestyle rich, for you to steal.

“Be careful where you choose to walk and run”.

Both have serious implications on joints and muscles.

Uneven and gravelly surfaces should be avoided, more often than not.

As much as it’s a simple message, here’s why it’s important for you:

Any surface that doesn’t offer a stable base will test things like your balance, stress your joints and your muscle strength and even your energy levels to a point where you could be doing more harm than good.

In moderation, anything like this is fine.

Problems come when you are choosing to tread the same path every night.

Because unless you’re specifically doing something to stop each of these from burning out, health issues will be compounded and brought to a head.

When it comes to being active and walking or running, nothing trumps changing the surface you stroll on.

Mix it up between the beach at the Headland, some boggy grass and a nice flat tarmac surface such as on the sea front walkway.

Now lets talk about footwear. If you’re more worried about looking good while you’re on the move, chances are your health account is going to suffer.

I’ve watched many ladies gasp in horror as I tell them to ditch the high heels and the Sunday shoes in favour of a soft pair of velcro fastened trainers bought from Clarke’s or Marksey’s.

Most know that the more cushion you have on your shoes, the less impact through your joints.

But what a lot of people don’t know, is that there’s also support to be found in how tight you pull the straps.

The tighter they are, the less movement at your knee and ankle. And therefore less damage in the joints.

And that’s why sandals or lose fitting type plimosles should never be worn when you are active.

Sure, they may look better but your adding serious (not to mention unnecessary) pressure to the joints that you need to see you through another 30-40 years.

Why risk it?