Whether you’re a lifelong athlete or just getting into fitness for the first time, the benefits of being active over the age of 50 are numerous. Exercise has been linked to the prevention of illness, improved mental health, and greater social engagement and the best news is that most of these studies show that the tangible benefits of exercise are visible at even a moderate amount of regular movement. With so much information in the active community catered to younger people, what are the ways that mature bodies can start and maintain healthy exercise habits while avoiding strain and injury. We’ve put together a list of our top tips for older athletes:
The Right Footing: We cannot stress this enough—Get good shoes! Get the right shoes for your activity and make sure they fit. While you can often find a wide variety of athletic shoes at big box stores, if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for we recommend visiting a local sports specialty store. The employees there will have a much better knowledge of athletic shoe features and fit. Remember, if you’re going to be on your feet then your shoes are the foundation for your success.
Find Balance: We mean this both figuratively and literally. Balance is a crucial ingredient for practicing athletic activities safely AND balancing the types of activities you do with the cross training essential for full-body wellness. So, why not knock out both considerations with one practice? Tai Chi combines balance training and bodily awareness with gentle strength and flexibility enhancing movement. The best part? In warm weather it is often practiced outdoors. Sign us up! Other balance enhancing workouts include yoga, Pilates, and even balance-specific training plans.
Prioritize Recovery Days: Remember how in high school you could stay up all night talking on the phone and still go to school the next day feeling fresh as a daisy? Those were the days… Make sure you’re setting yourself up for lifelong fitness by incorporating regular rest days in your training. Rest days give your muscles time to recover and make it easier to achieve new goals. A basic rest day includes stretching, possibly some light movement like walking, and a magnesium-rich supplement to support muscles and nervous system. Nuun Rest was designed for this exact purpose.
Hydrate for the Long Haul: Did you know that older adults are more at risk for dehydration? Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and decreased strength. To ensure that your physical fitness plans don’t put you at risk for dehydration make sure you’re starting each activity fully hydrated, and then maintaining hydration throughout the activity. If your workouts are especially intense, Nuun’s Podium Series has specialized hydration mixes for before, during, and after a workout to maximize performance. However, if you’re keeping your activities on the moderate side then drinking Nuun Sport should give you the electrolytes you need to maintain fluid balance and finish each workout feeling great.
Our lawyers would also like you to know that if you’re planning on starting a new workout or fitness routine, be sure to chat with your healthcare provider to make sure there are no outstanding issues you might need to make accommodations for in your training. We would also personally like to tell you that if you’re planning on trying a new athletic activity it’s a great idea to meet with a trainer to make sure your form is correct and sustainable. People of all ages can injure themselves by not educating themselves on the proper technique required to benefit from movement. A trainer is not just for pro athletes. They can be a valuable resource for anyone learning a new skill.