It's important for everyone to warm up before a workout, and those minutes spent priming your mind and body to get moving are especially important for fitness for active agers. Learn how to make the most of them.
A good warm up helps to reduce your risk of injury, and prepares your body for the main part of your training. You gradually increase your body temperature and heart rate, placing less stress on your heart and other organs. As your muscles become warmer, they become less stiff and your range of motion increases.
Focus on dynamic movements. Dynamic stretches keep you moving. A good rule of thumb is to spend about 5 to 10 minutes doing a slower gentler version of whatever activity you're about to start.
Engage your whole body. Make sure you warm up from head to toe. Do arm circles, shoulder rolls, and leg lunges. How about a few jumping jacks too?
Connect with your breath. Exercise is mental as well as physical. Even if you're not doing yoga, some breath work will help. Try slowing down and breathing from your abdomen. Lengthen the time you spend exhaling to release anxiety and help you enjoy your workout more.
Save static stretches for later. You may have grown up hearing that you should start out with intense stretches and hold them for a while. Such static stretches are beneficial, but save them for the cool down when your body is more limber.
Merritt Clubs know that you're never too old to get fit. If you're over 55 and in the Baltimore area, contact us for a wide range of programs that support active aging.