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Frailty: It Doesn't Have to Get You Down

By Stephen R. Farris

Growing older doesn't mean we have to resort to the rocking chair. While we may lose a little bit of our "swagger," there are ways to hang onto as much of it as possible.

What I mean is, as we age our bodies tend to have more aches and pains. It may take us longer to get up and moving in the mornings, unlike our younger days. If we overslept, it was nothing to jump out of bed, throw on our clothes and barely make it to school or work on time. Nowadays, there's no such thing as "jumping" out of bed. It's more like a rollover, sit up, rub the knees a little, then slowly rise as we grab our lower back. And that's just to stand up!

Raise your hands if you reach for the rubbing ointment just before bedtime, or after you get through with your morning shower, just so it doesn't feel as painful to walk, lift your arms, work you fingers or turn your neck. I bet many of you did, and can relate. When some of these things begin showing up, it might be time to identify them and learn about ways to keep them in check as much as possible, so they don't bring you completely down and immobile.

Signs You May Be Getting Frail

  • You feel shorter and/or you've lost a considerable amount of weight within the past year
  • You're losing your grip, having trouble standing or walking without using something as a crutch
  • Feeling weak or exhausted more than three days a week
  • Reduction in your activity level, even with housework and/or working out
  • Where you once walked with speed now feels like you're as fast as a turtle crossing the highway

Time to Make Some Changes

It might be time for a lifestyle change if you're beginning to feel some of the things mentioned above, or all of them for that matter. Give yourself time either in the morning, or afternoons, for a 15- to 30-minute walk. Purchase some hand barbells and do some light weight training to help get your strength up.


Make sure your diet is void of fast food and highly processed foods. Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into you diet, along with lean cuts of meat like chicken and fish.


Keep your brain active. Challenge yourself, whether it's doing the daily crossword puzzle or other forms of memory challenging games.

If you are feeling a little more fragile, then discuss how you're feeling with your local chiropractor. They can give you tips and offer suggestions to help you develop and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Charlotte, N.C.

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