Staying fit and getting ample exercise each day is important at any age. While many people hit the gym to lose weight and slim down, it can also help improve practically every area of our health. As we get older, consistent exercise can even prevent issues such as diabetes and insulin resistance—and of course, it’s always a great way to improve muscle tone, boost flexibility, and relieve pain. However, it’s also incredibly important to take measures that ensure we don’t injure ourselves while we keep up with our fitness.
There’s one dangerous mistake in particular that trainers warn you should never make at the gym, especially if you’re over 50. According to ISSA certified personal trainer Maxwell Kamlongera, you should never skip your warm-up or cool-down. Learn why below!
Don’t Skip Your Warm-Up Or Cool-Down
If you’re eager to start your workout and get right into the intense part, you may skip your warm-up. Likewise, you might not see the value in a proper cool-down when you’ve finished. However, Kamlongera warns that these are “two linked mistakes that are often done and should not be ignored,” because “the two most likely times to get an injury from working out out are during the workout and immediately after.” Yikes!
Kamlongera goes on to say that people over 50, especially, should be careful not to skip their stretches. “No one should ignore performing a warm-up before exercising and having a cool-down after, but the older you are the more injury prone you become, therefore taking any precautionary measure becomes key and chasing longevity should be what you strive for when exercising, not intensity, personal records, ego, or the such,” he stresses.
Warming up is essential for several reasons. For one, Kamlongera explains that it “gets blood flowing through the body, which helps with executing movement with less pain, resistance, and stiffness.” Additionally, it helps your muscles and nervous system prepare for the workout in order to minimize any possible injuries.
Similarly, cool-downs are also a vital part of injury prevention. But instead of preparing your body for the workout, they “help ease your body back into a relax state” by allowing your muscles and nervous system to “gradually slow down” rather than “shutting down immediately.” Kamlongera tells us that after working out, your body will be more tired and susceptible to injury. A cool down is the best way to allow it to begin to properly recover before you finally sleep.
While these are important steps for anyone to take in order to ensure the safety of their bodies, they should become even more of a priority as we age. “The reason injury prevention is important when you’re 50 years or older is because your body’s capacity to deal with them is compromised; where a younger person will get injured and can bounce back a lot quicker and with minimal complications, an older person may be set back for a prolonged period or may require medical assistance to see through a problem or may aggravate another issue,” Kamlongera explains. He concludes that, “Frankly, the older you get prevention is better than cure.”
Author: Faith Geiger
Faith Geiger is a New York-based writer and editor. When she’s not covering the latest in health and wellness for SheFinds, she spends her time watching reality TV with her roommates, browsing used bookstores, and enjoying live music. You can reach Faith at [email protected]
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