Exercising becomes even more important as we age. Research shows that being active helps avoid or alleviate many age-related conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and bone density loss (a common cause of fractures in seniors). Since some parts of our bodies such as our tendons, muscles and joints are more injury prone during our senior years, it is important to do this safely. Our experienced skilled nursing and rehabilitation staff has shared a few valuable tips to keep in mind for your fitness routine. Being mindful can help you enjoy an active lifestyle for as long as possible.
5 Tips for Preventing Injuries during Senior Fitness Routines
- Ease into the program: Follow the 10% rule recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons which says you should not increase the intensity or duration of your exercise by more than 10% every week. This helps prevent injuries caused by overuse while building your strength and endurance. If the activity is stopped for any reason, start slowly again.
- Wear the right shoes and clothing: Having the right shoes for the activity you are doing will help absorb the impact and reduce joint strain as well as improve balance and stability. According to the American Heart Association, individuals that walk regularly should replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Also pay attention to your clothing. Wear gear that is appropriate for the activity and will keep you warm or cool accordingly.
- Remember to stretch: Your muscles need to warm up and get ready for the activity. For example, if you are going to jog, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommends you start by walking. Slow hand pumping and squats are great ways to warm up.
- Hydrate: Dehydration can increase your risk of injury, especially during the hot summer months. Remember to take a bottle of water with you when you go out for a walk or run, go to the gym or take a fitness class. It is important to increase fluid intake while exercising, unless your doctor has recommended otherwise.
- Do not ignore pain: Pay attention to those twinges that you might feel while exercising. Pain is the cue that you should stop what you are doing and rest. It does not matter if you are a seasoned athlete or have being going to the gym for years. After 40, the muscles contain fewer satellite cells which help tissues repair themselves. If you have continual pain or suffer an injury, you must visit your doctor to discuss proper treatment.
At Wesley Enhanced Living, our goal is to meet the unique needs of each of our residents. We can even collaborate with your healthcare provider to develop an optimal exercise program, recuperation or health management plan to make sure the right level of activity is being provided for you or a loved one. State-of-the-art fitness and rehabilitation facilities, exciting activities and a dedicated staff ensure that our residents receive achieve and maintain the best outcomes. Come and tour our Independent or Personal Care apartments, or skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in and around the Philadelphia region to see the high quality of services we provide. One of our representatives will be happy to show you around, educate you on our services and discuss your needs.
Wesley Enhanced Living offers high quality, personalized options to meet the needs of you or your loved one. Please visit one of our communities to learn more or click here to request more information today.