Tips & Techniques

That's What Happens When You Get Old

Jennifer Myatt 
May 27, 2024

Some things I often hear when I'm asking my patients about their symptoms or about certain struggles they are experiencing with movement are, "But that's what happens when you get old." "My doctor said I feel dizzy because I'm getting older." "I guess can't do those things anymore now that I'm 80." Many of my patients are being lead to believe that their balance is poor, they feel dizzy, and they can't continue to enjoy things that require increased movement simply because they are aging.
So is it true? Should we just accept that as we age we can't or shouldn't be able to continue with activities that require increased movement and balance? While it is true that there are decreases in structure and function in our systems as we age, there is also the ability to offset some of these declines. Because we do have a reduction of things like muscle mass, bone density, and processing as we age, it is even more important to continue to challenge these aspects of movement to improve safety and quality of life.
According to The National Institute on Aging, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities as part of their weekly physical activity. Check out: for more information on the benefits of exercise and great ways on how to get started as an older adult. 
As far as reports of poor balance, feeling dizzy or experiencing vertigo, there are many reasons why this may occur and "just being old" simply is not one of them. For example, BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, can happen at any age and is more common in adults 60+, it does not automatically happen as you age and it is treatable. There is no reason to believe that you are dizzy simply because you are a certain age. 

Neuroplasticity is our brain's ability to change, grow, and create new pathways to adapt to new experiences or demands we place on it. Luckily this ability stays with us our whole life! Remember, your age is not the reason or the excuse for you not to continue to improve movement, balance, and posture!

You are never too old to work on your balance and you are never to young to work on it either - enjoy this piece written by our balance guru, Dana. You're Never Too Young to Work On Your Balance

Meet the Author
Jennifer graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at McHenry County College in 2023. Specializing in balance aspect of physical therapy, she loves working with people and using guided movement to help people get back to their lives.
You were made to move!