Seniors need to exercise in the same way that younger people do, and are susceptible to injury in the same way. With proper guidance and planning, injuries can be avoided in people of all ages. Exercise related injuries are common and can be incredibly painful. In seniors, they can cause serious complications, which may take a long time to heal. It’s therefore best when seniors are exercising, they are wary of potential injuries to limit the likelihood of injuring themselves. Below are some of the main ways seniors can prevent injury during exercise.
Health Care Professionals
Anyone who is elderly has a health condition or is new to exercise should consult their health professional before commencing any new form of exercise. This particularly applies to seniors who may be more at risk of complications from exercising.
By checking with your health care professional, you can be sure you are fit and healthy enough to start your desired form of exercise. If they say no, they can explain why so you are able to find some alternatives. There will always be some kind of exercise that is suitable for everyone, regardless of age or ability. This way you can avoid a potentially serious injury.
As with any person starting a new exercise problem, seniors should always start off simply and gently. It is best to start gently and gradually build up the duration and intensity over time. This way you are easing your body and muscles in particular into exercise; this will minimize any chances of injury.
Variety is a key concept in exercise. Instead of over exercising one particular area, and therefore risking injury, make sure you keep it varied. This is especially important for seniors as they are more susceptible to injury.
By using different muscles each time you exercise you will significantly reduce the chances of getting repetitive use injuries such as tendonitis and shin splints.
Listen To Your Body
One of the simplest ways to prevent injuries is to just listen to your body; it is very good at letting you know when it is in pain or needs a rest. If you continue to exercise through pain and strains, it is likely that you will cause some kind of injury. If you are feeling worn out, aching or sore, it is time to stop for a rest. Your body will thank you for taking a couple of days off and you can continue exercising as before in no time.
Know Your Weaknesses
If you know that you have arthritis in your knees, then it would be sensible to tailor your workout around this. It is even more critical to start slowly and build up the intensity and frequency of the exercises. You may wish to build up strength in these areas but it would be sensible to do it carefully and under the guidance of a health care professional.
It is vital that you are wearing the correct clothing when exercising. Not only will it make the experience more enjoyable, but it also much safer and will reduce injury. In particular, it is important that you wear the right footwear. Your feet take the brunt of most exercise and therefore need sufficient support to prevent injury.
It is possible to buy footwear specific to the type of exercise you are doing and make sure to purchase good quality footwear. The correct clothing can make a huge difference, particularly during extremes of hot and cold weather. If it is cold, it is better to wear several thin layers as you can add or take away as necessary.