Learning about healthy aging

Many of you know that I am passionate about keeping current with my training in health and fitness. Last Monday I attended a course that focused on working with older people to improve their strength and mobility. We learned that while we age, our bodies become more limited than they were before, but we can work within these limits to retain a greater degree of vitality, health, and happiness than we thought possible before. If you are of an age where you can feel your body’s new limits, you should take some comfort in the knowledge that fitness and healthcare professionals know more than ever about how to retain as much vitality as possible for as long as possible.
I attended this workshop with 30 to 40 other health and fitness pros, and we learned a lot about the normal process of aging, but we also took some deep dives into conditions and diseases common to older adults, like Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, and COPD. One thing all of these disorders have in common? Exercise is one of the best treatments. We adapt what exercise looks like based on the abilities and conditions of the individual–using resistance bands instead of weights, taking precautions to prevent falls, etc.
Everyone knows that the life of the mind is important to happiness and meaning in life, but many people forget–until they face physical limitations–that the life of the body is just as important. That’s why it’s critical to move our bodies and keep them strong and healthy–it expands our limits and keeps us living our “life of the body” as long as we can.

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Natural Treatments for Pain and Inflammation

I was recently asked about my favorite equipment to reduce pain and inflammation naturally. There are a lot of ways to treat and prevent these common causes of poor health, so here’s a brief rundown of the newest holistic technologies.

Some of my favorites are cold laser, infrared sauna, and PEMF, or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.

PEMF is a technique that creates resonating electromagnetic force fields that can act on the body’s cells to promote healing and pain relief. They’ve been shown to help fuse broken bones back together, and to reduce pain, swelling and fluid buildup for post-surgery damage.
They work by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the affected area. This increases blood flow and reduces inflammation. These effect combine to promote healing much faster than the body can do on its own.
PEMF is not known to have any side effects at all. Your doctor may not know about PEMF, since it’s not a required part of medical school curriculums. Doctors are often skeptical of “magnetic medicine” because it’s often associated with quackery, but several PEMF devices are FDA approved to treat post-operative pain and help heal broken bones. PEMF may also help with day-to-day pain like arthritis, low back pain, and chronic joint pain. In Canada, there is an over the counter device approved to treat exactly those issues.
Cold Laser is another directed-energy treatment that stimulates blood flow in pain hotspots. The lasers used have some wavelengths in them that actually penetrate the skin and create heat and stimulation in muscles and joints that have pain issues.
Infrared saunas are a heat treatment like regular saunas, but they use directed infrared light to help promote healing and detoxification.
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