Training Seniors Using Unweighting

Active, fit senior couple enjoy a job on the beach on a sunny day

There’s a harsh reality that we all face as human beings: the older we get, the less capable we are of doing the things we used to do with ease. A walk up the hill can leave us winded, it takes us longer to recover, and exercise brings with it an increased risk of injury.

Gone are the days when mobility and stability were taken for granted.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Many of these challenges have less to do with old age and more to do with the physical inactivity that often accompanies old age. Exercise, though, can be one of the keys to healthy living for seniors. That’s because a regular exercise regimen can lead to improvements in cardiovascular health and blood pressure, bone strength and weight control. Other benefits include improved sleep cycles, better mental health, and better balance overall.

Still, many senior citizens find the prospect of regular exercise daunting. For this, we call on our good friend unweighting. Read on to learn how unweighting technology can help bridge the gap between seniors and regular exercise.

HOW UNWEIGHTING CAN HELP SENIORS LIVE PAIN-FREE

Unweighting means lessening the impact of body weight and gravitational forces during physical activities like walking and running. With the help of a physical therapist, older adults can benefit from unweighting in a number of ways:

  • Improve stability and mobility. Walk or jog with the comfort and confidence that comes with knowing that there’s little risk of falling.
  • Increase gradually and precisely. A physical therapist can closely monitor exertion and body weight impact, all while increasing stress incrementally to prevent injury.
  • Injury recovery. Injuries often limit the amount of pressure one can put on the injured area. Unweighting allows the physical therapist to precisely identify what percentage of body weight is tolerable and safe to run or walk at.
  • Improved balance and gait. What if you could remove injury-causing variables and optimize the way you move? That’s the one of the ideas behind unloading: reduce body-weight and gravitational impact while examining —and incrementally improving— balance and gait.

A REAL-WORLD EXAMPLE

In the video below, we see how a senior with a severe spinal cord injury was able to rehabilitate and recover thanks to the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

A physical therapy regimen that includes unweighting is certainly not the only aspect of healthy aging. It is not a magic cure, and it cannot reduce the momentum of aging. It can, however, make for safer, more comfortable and effective exercise for seniors, helping them to overcome the challenges of a regular workout regimen in ways they might not have thought possible.

Inspired by the video above? Click here to learn more about how the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill can help senior citizens.

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