You know you’re getting older when your Christmas presents to each other are a pair of specialized compression ski socks and Chopats for the knees. The good news is that it also means you are attempting to stay active and in shape! There is a saying in the fitness world that we have all heard: no pain, no gain. There is some truth in that. If you are not feeling it at all the next day, your workout is probably not enough. However, as you get older, there are things you need to watch more carefully. Sometimes our bodies betray us. We don’t heal quite as quickly. If we have had multiple surgeries in the past, like my husband, the semi-bionic man, you may be noticing some arthritic pain. Pay attention to your body!! Some discomfort is normal when getting in shape; extreme and/or consistent pain is not.
There are things you can do. Get to know your body and what your weak spots are. I have a weak lower back, knees, and neck muscles. I also have some rotator cuff problems. Jim has had surgery on both shoulders, both knees, and both wrists. Exercise actually has helped my shoulders and back immensely (but again, watch your body. Exercise helps my shoulder but Jim definitely needed surgery). But my knees need some extra support. Hence, the Chopats. Jim has been using them for quite some time for hiking and skiing. I now use them for those activities as well as general workouts. It makes a big difference. (Another sign that you are getting old–going downhill on big hikes is often more difficult than going uphill!).
Warmups and cool-downs are more important than ever when you hit our age. Yoga and pilates are great additions to any workout program. If you are using a program and a move is too difficult, don’t give up. Modify or just march in place. Whatever you do, keep moving.