Age-related deficits in normal function are often referred to as frailty because they negatively impact muscle tone, stamina, balance, and general fitness.
The medical criteria for having frailty are:
- low level of physical activity
- easy exhaustion
- poor endurance
- and an unintentional loss of weight.
Some of these symptoms of frailty can be measured. For example:
- slowness can be tested by determining how long it takes a person to walk 15 feet;
- and grip strength can be tested to determine weakness.
However, a medical doctor may simply observe how a person’s genetic constitution is currently handling the environment in which they live.
If the doctor observes an increase in severity in 3 or more of the above characteristic criteria, the person can be diagnosed with frailty syndrome.
Why Should I Keep Track of My Own Frailty?
Having a positive attitude is invaluable after the age of fifty.
However, being positive doesn’t mean you have to hide from the natural cycles of the human lifespan or pretend that aging doesn’t exist.
In fact, it’s often better to face aging directly – to not only acknowledge it but to plan for it.
A strong theory about frailty is that it’s caused by chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a complex process, but – in its simplest terms – it’s when the immune system becomes tired or confused, and leads to skin issues, muscle dysfunction, joint stiffness, anemia, or reduced heart function.
Chronic inflammation is increasingly common and many people who have it, don’t know it.
Another likely contributor to frailty is hormonal imbalance, such as decreased estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
Not all elderly individuals will experience frailty. However, those who meet the criteria for frailty tend to have worse outcomes when faced with stress, such as surgery or a new illness.
Frailty is not only a physical phenomenon but also psychological. It’s associated with a decline in cognitive function and an increased risk of depression.
Finally, frailty can lead to increased falls, hospitalization, and mortality.
For all of these reasons, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your own overall vigor and periodically track your strength and speed to determine if it has improved or worsened.
Become Spry Again: How to Reverse Frailty
The longer you live, the greater your chances of having frailty.
Technically, frailty is supposed to be irreversible:
- Some believe it can be slowed, but not solved.
- However, there are those in the medical community who believe that when you focus on healing the body at the cellular level, overall health can be significantly improved.
Since chronic inflammation is cited as a main culprit in the development of frailty, adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can be a wise strategy for improving outcomes.
Here are some of the crucial aspects of living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Discuss these with your own medical doctor to determine which might be a good fit for you.
Lessen Frailty By Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Consider eating an anti-inflammatory diet from this point forward. The specific eating plan varies from person to person based on genetics, but it’s essentially a diet that emphasizes vegetables, followed by smaller amounts of high-quality meats, fruits, and fermented foods.
Getting Consistent Exercise
Follow a consistent exercise program. An exercise program that is done consistently and emphasizes mobility – such as brisk walking, yoga, Pilates, or swimming – and some resistance training can increase muscle tone and bone density.
As you get older, you can’t have too much muscle. It is only helpful.
Decreasing Exposure to Environmental Toxins
Create a less toxic environment. Making the physical environments where you spend the most time healthier can be beneficial.
When there are fewer toxins in a room and better air quality, it means your body can instead direct its energies toward other high-priority matters, such as cell restoration.
Lessen Frailty By Sleeping Even Better
Improve your sleep quality. There are so many hacks that can help you sleep better. Low-dosage melatonin, ear plugs, an eye mask, a white-noise machine, better bedding, and more. Find solutions to help yourself sleep even better than you do right now.
Lessen Frailty By Improving Your Internal Dialogue
Redirect your internal dialogue. Thinking more positively will help.
Many people’s thoughts are repetitive and negative. This can be mentally exhausting and distract you from finding simple solutions to making everyday life better.
Learning to gently guide your inner dialogue to a more positive mindset can make a surprising difference – not only in improving life quality but also in physical health.
Stay Robust with Wise Interventions
It’s vital to address both physical and cognitive aspects of frailty in order to optimize your health outcomes as a mature adult.
Preventing and treating frailty can be done through consistent physical activity, an anti-inflammatory diet, avoiding socioeconomic and environmental stressors, and improving lifestyle habits.
Early identification and intervention are key to developing stamina and a higher quality of life for you as a mature adult. Regular check-ups and screenings for frailty can be done as part of your routine healthcare. As you become elderly, a team approach can be utilized – that might include a physician, a mental health counselor, a pharmacist, and an occupational or physical therapist.
Frailty is a complex syndrome that affects mature adults, characterized by a decline in physical, cognitive, and psychological function, which increase the risk of poor health outcomes.
However, frailty can be prevented or slowed down through early identification and interventions.
Frailty is not an inevitable part of aging. Many things can be done to maintain good health and quality of life as you age.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your healthcare providers to work together to prevent or treat frailty and facilitate healthy aging.
Chronic Inflammation and Disease – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147972/
Diagnosing “Failure to Thrive” in Older Adults – https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-020-1462-y
Health Benefits of Habitual Positive-Thinking Patterns – https://www.heartandstroke.ca/articles/how-optimism-benefits-your-health