Train for longevity - enjoy these tips!
Train for longevity: Learn about. Getting older means getting wiser, both in and out of the gym. Don’t let an old sports injury slow you down. You can keep working out until late in your life. You just might have to be a bit smarter about how you do so. At the end of the day, only you and your doctor can really know what’s right for your body. But here are a few tips to help you achieve your best self as you age.
Keep resistance training
For bone health, exercising under an external load is critical. As our bodies generate force to move heavier loads, it creates a tension on our bones and joints. To an extent, this is a very good thing. It triggers a response that stimulates bone growth and health. However, prescribed improperly, there could be a risk of injury. As we age, trainees should think about minimizing impact or forcing through uncomfortable ranges of motion. Exercises such as box jumps or high intensity running should be avoided as the impact can have a negative effect on aging joints.
Less is More - Range of Motion
The fitness world is rapt with guidelines of squat depth, lunges to the floor, and overhead pressing. Ignore that advice and listen to your body. More acute joint angles create greater stress on sensitive areas like knees, hips and low back. And many older trainees don’t have the mobility to safely raise their arms overhead.
While you should try to work with your tight areas and treat any inflamed joints with care, don’t force a heavy load. The worst example is in pressing overhead. Without proper thoracic mobility and scapular positioning, people arch their backs and strain their necks trying to muscle something up. It’s simply not worth the risk when there are tons of great strength training alternatives. Shorten the range of motion with landmine presses, low box step ups, sled pushes, TRX rows and floor presses.
Water is your friend
Tons of research has been done on hydrotherapy and it’s benefits for recovery. If you’ve lived a few years, chances are your body has accumulated inflammation from stress, the food you’ve eaten, exercise, an old sports injury and more. Basically, you’re always recovering. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a great work out in. In fact, the pool, lake or ocean can be your friend.
Water provides a buoyancy that takes some of gravity away, minimizing the impact of certain exercises like running or squatting. It helps provide a smooth, continuous resistance to eliminate sudden jolts to your ligaments, tendons and bones. Not a fan of water aerobics? 30 minutes of swimming is a great cardio option for non-runners or HIIT trainers. But again, don’t completely cut out the resistance training. It’s best to recover from weights in the pool or alternate training days.