For optimal spinal health, SC residents know to trust the doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute in Mount Pleasant. While you can take great care of your spine by exercising, eating right and seeking treatment for issues as they arise, there’s no stopping Grandfather Time. He’s eventually going to come for a visit, so be prepared.
Aging is a gradual process that seems to sneak up on you. People certainly age differently depending on their levels of activity, diet, general health and attitude. Certain things, such as spinal deterioration, are just nature’s way of slowing you down. After all, your spine has been holding you erect and serving as your nerve center for more than half a century — it’s bound to get tired.
Natural vs. Unnatural Aging
Besides spinal health, SC doctors can tell you that other parts of the body age as well. Some changes are normal and expected; others are more preventable. Your eyesight, for example, weakens no matter what you do if you live long enough. The lens thickens, causing you problems, especially when reading. Also, you become more forgetful and have difficulty learning new subjects as you age. It’s natural.
In addition, your bones shrink as you age, which leads to easier breaks and greater imbalance, but exercise and diet can alleviate drastic aging consequences. Finally, your skin loses collagen over the years, although your lifestyle plays a huge role in how far it goes. Exposing your skin to the sun and continuing to smoke will lead to unnatural and quicker aging.
Back It Up
While heredity plays a big part in how well you age, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the effects of aging, especially when it comes to your spinal health, SC.
1. Get Sufficient Calcium
Talk to your spinal doctor at the Southeastern Spine Institute about calcium and your spinal health. SC spine specialists at the Institute for Medicine recommend 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day for men age 51 to 70 and 1,200 milligrams for women over 50. You can enhance that intake and keep your spine healthy by eating:
- Broccoli and kale
- Canned salmon
- Dairy products
2. Do the Right Exercises
You don’t need to win a Mr. or Miss Universe event, but by lifting weights or doing other weight-bearing exercises in your daily workout routine can strengthen your muscles and bones, which help slow down spinal aging and its consequences. Slow down bone loss with exercises such as:
- Climbing stairs
Give It a Rest
It’s vital that you are comfortable at night so you get the sleep you need for spinal health. SC isn’t a sleepy backwater; it’s a vibrant place with people on the go. But everyone, regardless of age, needs to rest at night. What you sleep on — the kind of mattress and pillow you use — isn’t as important as how you sleep. When you have the right mattress, you awake rested and pain-free in the morning. Invest in a bed that provides such benefits as:
- Firmness that supports your back all along its natural curves
- Soft enough to be flexible at your hips and shoulders
In addition to sufficient calcium and a regular weight-bearing exercise routine, you should always lift, stand, sit, reach and bend correctly. Take a little extra time if you need it; despite getting older, there’s no need to rush. To protect your spinal health, SC retirees will be better served by taking steps to slow the aging process while accepting the changes you can’t do anything about.