We tend to be living longer nowadays, but it's not without its challenges. In the borough of Wandsworth (London) it's estimated that 15.5% of people over 45 years old suffer from knee osteoarthritis . In the USA 25% of over 65's have type 2 diabetes and 1 in 14 UK over 65’s suffer with dementia . These and many other conditions are accepted as the destiny of the elderly; but this shouldn’t have to be the case!
Something we hear a lot at Battersea and Wandsworth chiropractors are people's perception that aching joints and the inability to perform physical activity are just normal features of getting older. "It's age, there's nothing I can do about it", "I can't exercise any more, I'm getting old" and "I guess I should get used to it, I am getting on now". Evidence shows us something different with some of the oldest people in the world starting and achieving great physical feats after the age of 80 years old.
1. Fauja Singh completed the London marathon at 93 years of age. He started running at the ripe old age of 89 and he still runs now at 102.
2. Yuichiro Miura climbed Everest aged 80 and became the oldest person ever to summit. ‘I had a dream to climb Everest at this age,’ he says. ‘If you have a dream, never give up. Dreams come true.’ 
3. Charles Eugster didn't pick up running until he was 95 years old and has since set several records for his age group in outdoor and indoor races. He also started his bodybuilding career at 87.
These physical feats can not only benefit your body in terms of muscle, joint and cardiovascular health; but studies have also found that exercise improves neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the body’s ability to make new connections in the brain, generate neurons and the blood vessels that supply them. This allows us to learn new skills and also improves memory – thus fighting dementia .
Regular exercise increases muscle strength and flexibility, improves bone density and strength and keeps weight under control. So rather than giving in to the fact you are getting old, how about embracing it like the examples of people above. Exercise shows massive benefits to overall health and wellbeing.
Using age as an excuse not to be active or learn a new skill is no longer a reason. Pain, memory loss, arthritis, falling and decreased mental ability should not just be expected as ‘getting old’. Take back control, make improvements and feel young again! Age is only a number.
We see a lot of older people at the clinic ranging up to 94 years of age and they not only get adjusted but they are given exercises to enhance their chosen lifestyle and to help with the prevention of injury so they are able to carry on with their sport or hobby.
 Hötting, K. and Röder, B., 2013. Beneficial effects of physical exercise on neuroplasticity and cognition. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37(9), pp.2243-2257.
Manuela Crispim Nascimento, C., Rodrigues Pereira, J., Pires de Andrade, L., Garuffi, M., Leme Talib, L., Vicente Forlenza, O., Maria Cancela, J., Regina Cominetti, M. and Stella, F., 2014. Physical exercise in MCI elderly promotes reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improvements on cognition and BDNF peripheral levels. Current Alzheimer Research, 11(8), pp.799-805.