Making your golden years more golden: Get the most out of your retirement

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Robin Tharle-Oluk

Robin Tharle-Oluk is a Certified Athletic Therapist in Edmonton, AB. She is the owner of Elite Injury Management and the Head Therapist at Concordia University of Edmonton.

For many, dreams of retirement are filled with vacations and enjoying time with friends and family. Riding off into the sunset after your career is over and spending your time sitting on your front porch are thoughts of a bye-gone era. Living an active lifestyle during your retirement years allows you to enjoy your newfound free time. Athletic Therapists can help keep your retirement years golden by helping keep your body in optimal condition.

How often have you heard someone say, “I hurt because I am old?” While some of this may hold true, being active can help reduce the common aches and pains that are associated with aging. The skills that Athletic Therapists have regarding treatment options can also help reduce these. Be it through exercise or hands-on therapy, the goal is to keep your body moving optimally.

What does an Athletic Therapist do? They specialize in the prevention and treatment of orthopedic/musculoskeletal conditions and injuries associated with muscles, bones, joints and ligaments. They can help you by:

  • Preventing injuries through education, strength and conditioning programs
  • Assessing the type and severity of injuries
  • Rehabilitating an acute or chronic injury

Benefit of working with an Athletic Therapist:

Athletic Therapists are highly educated and trained healthcare professionals. To work as an Athletic Therapist, Canadian practitioners must complete a bachelor’s degree and complete an Athletic Therapy program from an accredited institution. They are required to complete continuing education in rehabilitation, orthopedic assessment and emergency care.

Targeted exercise programs that will keep you enjoying your favourite activities such as gardening, golfing and ballroom classes are part of the expertise you will receive from seeing an Athletic Therapist. They will provide you with exercises specific to your activity as well as your movements of daily living to keep you feeling up to that next round of golf or taking the garbage out to the curb.

Manual therapies such as joint mobilization, massage, and other soft tissue-related modalities can cause a decrease in pain and inflammation, improvements in tissue movement and a decrease in stress. Athletic Therapists use a variety of manual therapies in their treatments to meet your individual needs.

Prevention is a key component of the scope of practice of an Athletic Therapist. They can work with you on balance and proprioception, which is knowing where your body is in space, to help with fall prevention.

By working with an Athletic Therapist, you will receive: 

  • Targeted exercise programs
  • Fall prevention techniques
  • Improved strength, range of motion and flexibility
  • Increased confidence

The benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle:

There are numerous benefits you will experience by maintaining an active lifestyle, including:

  • Maintaining and increasing strength
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Reducing the risk for osteoporosis
  • Reducing the risk for certain cancers
  • Improving mental well being
  • Enjoying a better quality of life

Whether you are a recent retiree, looking to take on new adventures or trying to find ways to stay active, your local Athletic Therapist is a great addition to your health and wellness team.

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