Choose Your Exercise with Care
Whether you’re brand new to exercise or a lifetime devotee, take care when choosing your physical activities. Your age, your body, and of course your preferences all play a part in determining the best way for you to stay physically active.
The most important part of staying active for life is finding an activity you love. Explore your options, and don’t quit until you find something that adds positively to your day.
If you’re already active and looking for something with more intensity or duration, make sure you can participate without getting hurt. Nothing sets back physical activity like an injury.
Ways to Avoid Injury
Injuries become increasingly common as we get older, but there are ways to avoid them. The first is to know your body. Have you had a previous injury that left a joint prone to soreness? Make sure your exercise routine doesn’t put too much stress on that area.
The second is to know your limits. Take it easy at first—even if you love playing tennis, your tendons won’t thank you if you play too often or with too much intensity. Gradually ramp up your workouts and pay attention to signals from your body that you’re working too hard.
The third way to avoid injury is to work muscle groups that help with balance and stability. Core, balance, and back exercises are all vital to keeping you upright and steady.
Most of us were taught to stretch before you exercise. This certainly can be beneficial, but stretching doesn’t just have to be part of a workout. It’s a good idea to stretch as consistently as you exercise. This keeps your muscles from getting stiff and decreases the probability of injuries.
Develop a consistent set of stretches that you do every day, whatever time of day works for you. Not only is it good for your muscles, joints, and tendons, it’s also a way to turn off your brain and relax.
If you don’t have a stretching routine, ask your doctor to recommend ways to get started.
Exercise for Life
These few simple tips can help us all stay active throughout our lives, embracing the joy and satisfaction of physical activity.