Optimizing your Immune and Musculoskeletal Systems for People over 50

| April 11, 2020 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

Never To Late

It’s never too late to start focusing on yourself. In fact, your 50s and over is a critical time to prioritize your fitness, health and overall wellness. As people are advised to stay home these days and the uncertainty of the Coronavirus grows, it is important now more than ever that everyone, especially those over 50, work to optimize your immune and musculoskeletal systems to help prevent and/or fight the effects of various injuries, disease or infection.

In this article, I would like to discuss what you can be and should be doing to optimize your immune and orthopedic systems to make sure you are as healthy as possible. First a few simple habits you should work into your routine are:

1. Make sure you get adequate sleep
2. Meditate and minimize stress
3. Exercise regularly
4. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, cut down on sugar
5. Be a healthy weight
6. Do not smoke
7. Drink in healthy moderation
8. Wash your hands regularly
9. Cook thoroughly any meat that you eat
10. Get your shots

All of the above suggestions might seem simple, and they are, but they also play an important role to boost our immune and musculoskeletal systems. With many of us at home and not having the opportunity to be as active as we usually are, I’d like to focus in on how you can get your blood flowing and exercise easily at home. In addition to the benefits to our immune system, regular exercise also improves our flexibility, increases our endurance, builds muscles, and much more. The exercise you perform does not have to be intense and doesn’t have to be more than 30 minutes per day. Any type of exercise can help including going for a walk, gardening, participating in yoga or even using a foam roller.

Using a foam roller might be a new concept to you as a way to move and improve your overall health. However, using a foam roller daily is inexpensive, simple to perform, can be done anywhere and is not reserved just for professional athletes. Foam rolling utilizes cylindrical tubes to self-massage and/or release restricted myofascial and joint tissues of the body. There are countless benefits to foam rolling including improving flexibility and mobility, muscle recovery, improved movement and biomechanics, building strength, decreasing pain, decreasing muscle tension, inhibiting overactive muscles and injury recovery.

I believe in foam rolling so much that my company MedRock recently launched one called HotRock, which actually adds deep, penetrating heat to the foam rolling experience. By adding heat to the foam rolling experience, users will be able to better manage pain, relieve stress, increase flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients for improved healing and more.

If you’re interested in foam rolling, here are a few movements you should try:

1. Posture Correction and Thoracic Mobilization:

Start by lying back on a foam roller under mid-back area. Keeping chin tucked down towards chest, lift buttocks and roll on mid-back area back and forth. Next, place buttocks on ground and do gentle back bends over the roller until you feel a nice, easy stretch opposite of bad posture. Repeat this 3-5 times in a few different areas for 3-5 seconds up and down this area of your spine. Do not perform this movement in any areas that cause pain or uncertainty.

2. Low back Opening and Hip Flexor Lengthening

Lying on your back with knees bent up and feet flat on floor, lift buttocks and place foam roller under lower back. Set your lower back down on roller and gently pull one knee towards your chest with hands. For greater intensity, straighten out the other leg so it is hanging out straight as per the picture above. Hold 3-10 seconds and repeat on both sides 3-10 time as desired.

3. Hamstring and Calf Release –

Place roller under back of thigh (hamstrings) or calf. Use arms to lift buttocks off ground and roll back and forth in small segments on the muscles. By placing both legs on roller, you are not only releasing muscle and fascia, but you are also building core strength through your upper body and mid-section. If this is too challenging, bend the knee of the top leg and place foot flat on ground to assist. Repeat 30-90 seconds on each segment of your leg.

Performing these three movements can be as easy or challenging as you would like them to be. They will provide all the benefits that are described above including building up your immune and musculoskeletal systems to help keep you safe, strong and moving well.

For more information please visit us at https://www.medrock.com.

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