5 Tips on how to train as you age
As we age, our bodies change, and we may find that our athletic performance is not quite what it used to be. You can still train effectively and safely, even as you cross the 40-year-old threshold. Here are five tips to help you maintain your fitness and minimize the risk of injury as you get older.
1. Spend more time on warm-ups
As we age, our bodies need more time to warm up before we dive into our workout routines. Dedicate extra time to soft tissue work, mobility exercises, and dynamic stretching to prepare your muscles and joints for the main training session. Additionally, give your central nervous system ample time to warm up by including a few extra sets before your working sets. That 1980 Chevy doesn’t start up ready to have the pedal mashed to the floor! You need to let it warm up first!
2. Choose less abusive exercises
If certain exercises cause pain or discomfort, it’s time to consider alternatives. The goal is to train the desired muscle group without causing unnecessary strain. For example, if deadlifts cause back pain, try single-leg RDLs with a kettlebell or trap bar deadlifts instead. Remember: exercises are just a means to an end – focus on volume and intensity rather than sticking to specific, potentially harmful movements.
3. Embrace non-load bearing activities
For those who struggle with high-impact exercises like running, consider incorporating non-load bearing activities such as swimming, cycling, rowing, or using an elliptical machine. These alternatives can help you maintain a high level of metabolic fitness while minimizing the impact on your joints.
4. Focus on moderate volume and intensity
Adjust your strength training routine to focus on a moderate range of volume and intensity. Opt for sets of six to twelve reps and choose weights that challenge you without pushing you to your limit. This approach will help you maintain your strength without overtaxing your body.
5. Invest in your body
As we age, it’s crucial to invest in our bodies by seeking professional care when needed. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, consult a chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist to address the issue. Taking care of your body now can help prevent more severe issues down the road and ensure that you can continue to train effectively. In the end, if you know your body is having issues and you don’t do anything to resolve it, you only have yourself to blame.
In conclusion, aging doesn’t have to mean giving up on your fitness goals. By adjusting your approach to training, you can continue to make progress while minimizing the risk of injury. Listen to your body, be flexible with your exercise selection, and invest in your well-being to ensure that you can train effectively and safely for years to come.