Well that title is a handful.
But really – shit gets harder as we age, people.
I’m sure those of you reading this who are nearing 40 or who have passed that milestone realize that in your forties:
- you are more likely to experience injuries
- you can’t just up the cardio and eat fewer carbs to take off a few pounds
- you feel more aches and pains
- maybe you have more kids and that alone makes it harder to get moving
Bottom line, as we get older, staying strong and healthy can be more challenging and because of that, it is crucial that we commit to taking care of our bodies in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
So what’s a young lovely thirty something year old to do? Here’s my advice. I wish some 40-something year old had mentioned all this to me 10+ years ago. Learn from my mistakes, people!
1. Buy a foam roller and roll into the pain
My clients know that the one tool I encourage them to purchase is a good ol’ foam roller. Basically, your muscles have something called fascia around them; kinda like saran wrap but not. If you consistently roll out the tight areas (and I’m sure you have them), you will lessen your chances of injury in the future. I like to think of the roller as “poor man’s massage.” And for those of you who’ve tried and don’t like it or think it hurts too much, as Hilaria Baldwin once said – saying you’re too tight for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty for a bath. In other words, the more it hurts, the more you need to roll out. Not sure how to use one? Go ahead and ask me. I am happy to show you.
2. Mix It Up
You have to mix up your movement, people. Maybe in your 30’s, you could just run to stay fit, but now, at 42, you’re finding that all that running has led to a knee injury so you have stopped moving altogether? To avoid injuries later, it is best to cross train – if running is your thing, go ahead and keep doing it, but add yoga and strength training (more on that below). Do not just repeat the same activity day after day after day.
3. Strength Train, Folks
Aside from mixing it up, another oh SO important thing to do to stay fit and avoid injury is to incorporate strength training into your routine. This does not mean lifting heavy weights. In fact, this could mean using just your own body weight as resistance. Research shows that starting in our late 20’s, we begin to slowly lose muscle mass and that rate of muscle loss increases every decade. Strength training now means maintaining muscle mass as we age. Also, if you strength train now, you better protect your joints which can become weak as you age so that you avoid injuries.
Many injuries result from over-using one muscle group and under-using another. Leave 10 minutes to stretch at the end of your workouts and focus on those tight painful areas that need stretching. This goes hand in hand with #1 above – the foam rolling. Yes, make time for both.
So there you have it — my tips to help you feel better in your body as you get older. I really do believe that taking care of ourselves now is only going to make us feel better later. My hope for my future is to be able to hike at age 70-something with my husband and family — I want to be that active and healthy grandma one day. With that goal in mind, I am going to go now and roll out my tight IT band — practicing what I preach, people.