A health setback like an injury or arthritic flare-up can influence how much you move. But these physical limitations can easily be compounded by something even more powerful: your mind.
Such physical ailments can force people to move less than they are actually able to. This decreased movement then compounds over time. While it might not be pain or physical limitations that are holding them back, these issues may nevertheless drain people of confidence and fill them with fear about leaving the house.
Over time, they may elect to remain at home and give up driving or going for walks, leading to slower, stiffer movement and much worse mobility.
These people can begin to suffer from social isolation. They don’t see friends as often and can’t maintain of form new relationships if they’re not getting out. This can include not participating in hobbies or other engaging activity that brings joy. The isolation can lead to or contribute to depression.
If you don’t feel like you’ve got anything to wake up for, the limited mobility may lead to a total abandonment of healthy habits like exercise routines and eating habits. Weight gain or eating too little can zap energy and contribute to further mental and physical health problems.
Mind, mood, and mobility are closely linked. It may seem unrelated, but a stressful life event like the loss of a loved one, job loss, or retirement can contribute to physical deterioration just as much as a physical ailment can.
Maintaining emotional and mental health, therefore, is essential to mobility and healthy aging.
If your mobility doesn’t match up to your physical capabilities, think about why. Are depression, loneliness, anxiety, or fear potential contributors?
If they are, try to re-engage with the world around you by focusing on what you enjoy. If you can’t bring yourself to venture out, try talking to a professional for help. It may help ease your mind and give you the tools you need to get moving again.
Mat Lecompte is a health and wellness journalist. This article was first published on BelMarraHealth.com.