As active individuals age, they may need to change their approach to exercise to prevent injury and improve their endurance. For most, that may mean taking various pre-workout steps.
Get enough rest. The body requires adequate sleep and other rest during the day to stimulate muscle growth and repair. Exercise may not be as effective, and may be more dangerous if seniors exercise without enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can also reduce reaction times, which can adversely affect workouts.
Emphasize stretching. Stretching can improve flexibility and reduce the risk of muscle injuries. It can also improve range of motion in the joints. Stretching before and after a workout prepares the body for exercise and helps it recover.
Wear proper footwear and clothing. Sturdy, supportive athletic shoes and well-fitting workout wear can make working out more comfortable and safer. The National Institute on Aging recommends finding footwear designed for the specific activity you’ll be engaging in. Footwear that offers sufficient heel support and nonslip soles is also beneficial.
Warm up. Give the body an opportunity to acclimate during a warm-up period that facilitates healthy breathing. Warming up also loosens joints and muscles for the exercise ahead. After a workout, seniors should cool down to reduce their heart rates and prepare for recovery.
Carefully consider pre-workout supplements. Pre-workout powders and pills have become popular for exercise enthusiasts. Manufacturers may advertise that their products are loaded with vitamins and minerals that will help energize the body for a workout. However, they may be fortified with caffeine. Do not take a pre-workout supplement without first consulting your physician, as certain products may adversely interact with medications being taken for preexisting conditions.
Pre-workout steps can keep seniors safe and reduce injury risk from exercise.