If you have kids, or spend time with kids, you are familiar with “Owies” and “Boo-Boos”. The nice thing about owies is they are usually short lived. Kids are resilient. After a few tears, they routinely shake off epic crashes and collisions that would probably lay us up for days.
As active adults, we get our fair share of pain as well, but unlike our kids, it seems that the older we get, the longer our aches and pains persist. So being proactive with pain prevention and treatment becomes essential as we age, especially if we aspire to keep moving well.
Here are a few simple tips to keep the pain away in the first place. As the old adage goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Warm Up and Cool Down. As I get older, my warm up gets longer. A good warm up prepares the body for movement, and can include:
- Foam Rolling or other Self-Myofascial release
- Dynamic movements that incorporate full range of motion around major joints
- Light to moderate carido to increase blood flow to working muscles and raise core body temperature
- Light stretching
I usually don’t have a set amount of time that I warm up for. I just warm up until I feel ready for the main part of the workout. A good warm up will feel like it flows into your workout. It’s a build up. Your post-exercise cool down works much the same way, but in reverse. It helps slowly bring us back down to our baseline, and often includes more stretching.
Mobility & Strength. These two elements of fitness are weak links for many who focus primarily on cardio. Assess yourself, or make an appointment with a good personal trainer for an assessment. Then look to loosen and lengthen tight areas through stretching, mobility exercises, or yoga; and strengthen weak areas through resistance training. It’s a good bet that you’ll feel better, perform better, and will be less injury prone.
Don’t do too much too soon. This may very well be the #1 source of most adults’ pain and injury when it comes to exercise. We just do too much—especially if we’re coming off a long layoff from exercise. You can’t get in shape in a day. Instead, get fit slowly and methodically. Doing a little everyday is so much better than doing a lot at once and then having to take several days off because you’re so sore or have injured yourself.
Finally, simply Listen to your body and don’t forget to get enough quality rest!
Many of you asked a question related to pain or injury as part of our recent “Ask an Exercise Question” Challenge. Our first webinar was last week, and Part 2 is coming up in October. During the October webinar, we’ll be answering some of your pain, treatment, and injury related questions! Below you’ll find a registration link, as well as a recording of Part 1 of the Ask an Exercise Question series, in case you missed it!
Have fun getting in shape slowly!
Register for “Everything you wanted to know about Exercise…Part 2! October 28th at 12:05pm
Last week’s “Everything you wanted to know about Exercise” webinar.
Everything you always wanted to know about Exercise but were afraid to ask. from Montana University Sys. Wellness on Vimeo.