Even the most youthful and dedicated athletes are not immune to exercise-related injuries. But any expert will quickly point out that the risks of not engaging in regular physical activity are far more dangerous to your health than doing nothing.
Proper technique, form and training all are keys to maximizing workout benefits and avoiding a pulled muscle, sprain or worse. As we age, education about our changing bodies also is critical to getting optimum benefits.
Here’s what experts say about mindfully navigating your way through the decades.
In Your 40s
“It’s easy at this age to feel like you should be able to do all of the things that your body was able to do in your 20s and 30s,” says Samantha Merchant, exercise physiologist and personal trainer at The Works Fitness Center in New Hampshire.
It’s an assumption that equals potential injury. Now more than ever, what you do before a workout has everything to do with your overall success.
“Warm up properly,” Merchant says. “This is especially important before high-intensity or high-impact routines like boot camps.”
An effective warm-up will:
- Increase heart rate and core body temperature;
- Prepare your body to handle quick decelerating movements;
- Increase muscle length, and;
- Activate your core.
A typical workout should last about an hour, says Caley Whitney, certified personal trainer. Select a variety of exercises, including:
“Each component of fitness does not…
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