SPINE HEALTH AND FRAILTY
Your spine supports you, allowing you to move, bend, lift, push, pull, carry and sit. Without a healthy spine you will be limited in mobility which can lead to overall declines in your health. This can contribute to a factor known as frailty, and is one of the largest healthcare issues in Canada today. So how is frailty defined, and how can you stay healthy as you age? Here’s what you need to know. You or a loved one may be considered frail if three or more of these criteria, developed by Johns Hopkins, apply to you:
- You’re shrinking. You’ve unintentionally lost 4 or more kilos in the past year.
- You feel weak. You have trouble standing without assistance or have reduced grip strength.
- You feel exhausted. Everything you do takes a big effort, or you just can’t get going three or more days most weeks.
- Your activity level is low. This includes formal exercise plus household chores and activities you do for fun.
- You walk slowly. Your pace is considered slow if the time it takes you more than six or seven seconds to walk 15 feet.
- Being active most days of the week, activities like walking and easy strength-training moves improve strength and reduce weakness – even in very old, frail adults. Every little bit helps, at any age.
- Eat well. Be sure to include enough muscle-nurturing protein.
- Keep your mind active, your attitude optimistic.