10 Manly Tips For An Aging Workout
Like it or not, you will grow older. Adapting your lifestyle to the changes that come is key. Ultimately, keeping physically fit as you age comes down to common sense and the willingness to follow some practical advice:
• Consult your doctor. Talking to your doctor about your exercise routine is always a good idea. Ask which exercises provide the most benefit for your physical condition. If you have medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend certain limitations on your activities.
• Take it slow. If you’re just getting back into sports, don’t rush. If you plan on playing basketball in the winter, begin easing yourself into a training program a month or two before. Older bodies have a tougher time handling sudden changes in an exercise routine.
• Add more time. You will need longer warm-up and cool-down time to prepare your body and reduce your risk of injury, especially for strenuous exercises. Allow for longer recovery times from strenuous workouts, competitions and injuries. Follow a hard workout with a couple of days of rest or light workout days.
• Do stretching exercises. It’s typical to lose range of motion at one or more joints. Stretching exercises will improve flexibility and prevent injury.
• Maintain intensity. You’ll likely lose 5 percent to 15 percent of your aerobic capacity for each decade after the age of 30. Exercise regularly to combat this natural decline.
• Add speed work to aerobic exercises. This is for men who want to continue performance-related fitness or participate in competitive sports.
• Use weights. Using weights in addition to aerobic exercise — usually two to three days a week — combats the natural loss of muscle mass in aging men.
• Pay attention to pain. If you injure yourself while exercising, stop. Apply ice and rest for a while. If the pain continues, get it checked out by a doctor. Be sure not to exercise in the same way until you get medical approval.
• Be careful with contact sports. Riding an exercise bike is safer than playing a contact sport such as basketball or soccer. But keep playing if you’d like; just be aware of the risks.
• Remember, it’s not a competition. Don’t try to lift as much weight as the guy on the machine next to you or outplay the guy who’s 20 years your junior on the racquetball court. In middle and older age, always trying to win can result in a potentially serious injury.