Journalist Helen Rowland once said, “Life begins at 40 – but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.” Old age doesn’t have to mean that your body starts to fall apart, though. It’s important that we take care of ourselves as the years pass, and that includes going to the gym. Read on to learn how to stay safe when exercising, including how not to hurt your back when working out.
Don’t Forget to Warm Up
This is actually very good advice for anyone, regardless of their age. However, younger bodies can recover faster than older ones. So, don’t skip the warm-up if you want to avoid back injuries.
You want to start slowly to ease your way into the workout. This gives your muscles time to heat up so they can stretch and do their job without causing you pain.
Use the Proper Technique and Dress the Part
Yes, the older you get, the more prone to injury you are because your body is changing. That being said, if you’re not doing a particular exercise properly in the first place, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hurt yourself.
Also, you need the right tools for the job, so to speak. If you’re wearing the wrong shoes or not using safety equipment such as back support, you have a much higher likelihood of injuring yourself because your attire or lack of safety equipment leaves you vulnerable.
Don’t Push Yourself to Your Absolute Limit
You might think that the harder you work, the more results you’ll see. That’s not true at any age, though after the age of 40, the statement becomes both false and painful.
Don’t push yourself as far as you can go during every gym session. Your goal should be to expend effort as part of a personalized structured fitness plan designed to keep you healthy and strong.
Choose Your Workouts Carefully
Let’s say you’re a devoted weightlifter. You love how strong weights make you feel and the muscles you’ve built as a result.
However, your back can only take so much stress from weight lifting. It’s better to reduce the frequency of this type of workout so your back has time to recover.
You might also discover the joy of other types of exercise. Healthcare professionals recommend yoga and pilates. “Aren’t those just stretching exercises?” you scoff. Yes, yoga and pilates involve a great deal of stretching. What you need at this point in your life is strength, flexibility and endurance, which yoga and pilates provide.
No Pain, No Gain? Think Again
“If it hurts, I must be doing something right,” was the old adage when it came to exercise. Not only is that not true, it’s actually harmful and can lead to injury.
If a particular exercise is causing you back pain (or pain anywhere else for that matter), don’t do it. There are so many exercises out there. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be able to find the one that’s right for you.
Don’t Slow Down Too Much
Years ago, doctors prescribed bed rest for back injuries. That’s no longer the case.
Research shows that when you’re sedentary, your muscles begin to weaken. When you finally get back up again, you’ll have less strength to use. And that can lead to further injury.
Turn to an Experienced Chiropractor for Relief from Back Injuries
When you’ve hurt your back, you need a muscle and joint expert. A chiropractor is just that health professional. He or she has in-depth knowledge on how to realign your joints so that your back no longer hurts.
Our experienced chiropractor, Dr. Alec Khlebopros, practices a wealth of services, treatment options, and procedures that help to restore patients to their healthy selves.
Click here to contact Proactive Chiropractic for a consultation today, or fill in the form on our contact page and a member of our staff will be in touch soon.