We’re going to be tactful enough not to mention the age at which you become an “older adult.” You’ll know it when you have to exercise twice as hard to see the same results you used to. Lifting weights, bending with yoga, or running for endurance seems to take just a bit more effort than usual.
You can’t approach fitness in the same way that you did when you were younger. Here are a few guidelines for keeping your exercises effective.
Warm Up and Cool Down
These two activities are important at any age but more so when you’re older so take the time to do them thoroughly.
Warming up loosens stiff muscles, helping to increase your range of motion and minimize injury. Cool downs help the body get rid of lactic acid, reduce soreness, and decrease the chance of dizziness caused by blood pooling at your extremities.
Don’t Go Heavy
One way to gauge your strength improvement is to see how much weight you can lift. This is something men in particular like to do. But as you get older, your joints are less able to handle the sudden increase in stress.
There’s no point in proving that you’re king of the weight bench, if you throw your back out, and can’t exercise for weeks. Go more repetitions at the same weight to gauge your strength improvements.
Go Longer Rather then Faster
The faster you are, such as with a run or calisthenics, the fitter you are, or so the theory goes. The only problem is your reaction time gets slower as you age, so your mind may not catch up to what your body is doing. The result is increased chance of stumble, missed moves, and injuries. Rather than going faster, keep a moderate pace but do the exercise longer.
Soreness in the muscles after exercise is natural and should disappear within a day or two. However, soreness in the joints or pain that doesn’t go away may indicate a serious problem.