We’ve been covering tips and tricks that seniors can use while they embark on their own fitness journeys and this next article will focus on tips for avoiding injury while exercising. For a general overview of exercise and seniors, we recommend checking out our previous article, Exercise and Seniors, here. Let’s get started!
Now while everyone can and should be careful whenever they exercise, it’s especially important for seniors to practice caution whenever they begin exercising. Older adults can be more prone to injury when they engage in physical activity. As we age, ligaments and tendons don’t have as much elasticity and bones lose their density, which means they can be more fragile and less resistant to breaks.
Injuries can be prevented by implementing modifications into your fitness routine, as well as finding professionals who understand how to properly engage in physical activity. Speaking with your doctor before engaging in an exercise regime is always recommended, because your doctor will be able to explain what exercises work best for your body.
We have a few tips to keep in mind to help avoid injuries while you’re working out:
- Warm-up:When you warm-up before any type of exercise it prepares your body for movement. Warming up shouldn’t take long, just enough to get your heart rate up, ideally start with five to ten minutes of easy, moderate movement.
- Start slow:If you’re newer to exercise or haven’t embarked on a fitness journey in a number of years, it’s a good idea to start at a small pace. This will assist your muscles with learning new movements while allowing your body to ease into the everyday practice of exercise.
- Consider hiring a professional:Personal trainers can be a great option for anyone who is looking for personalized instruction on exercising. They offer helpful advice, motivation, and with their knowledge of the human body, can often be the first way to help you avoid an injury when starting a new exercise.
- Exercises that prevent injury:
o Squats – With their slow and steady movement, squats are an excellent strength building exercise and can be modified for a more challenging workout by lifting weights with your squat.
o Push-ups–These are helpful for building upper body strength and can be adapted for someone who hasn’t exercised in a while by using your knees.
o Rowing – An exercise that’s excellent at working your core and offers a low-impact way to build up endurance and cardiovascular strength.
o Single leg balance or marching in place – Balancing can assist with the building and strengthening of your core, and marching in pace is a simple way to continuously get moving without exerting too much pressure on joints.
o Chair squats wall or bar push-ups – You can gradually move lower towards the floor as you increase strength and mobility.
- Cool down:When you cool down, this offers time for your body to get back into rest mode. Doing a light walk on a treadmill again is another example of how your body can cool down
- Stretching:Always stretch at the end of your workouts when your body is warmed up. Stretching cold, tight muscles and tendons could tighten and potentially tear them.
However you choose to embark on exercise, it’s a wonderful first step towards bettering yourself and adding a positive activity into your daily life. If you ever do get injured or fall, ease back into exercise slowly as instructed by your doctor.