One of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of any exercise or training program is the recovery phase. When we recover, physiologically our body is repairing itself and becoming stronger. As we age, recovery becomes even more important.
According to a 2008 article in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, aging muscles are more susceptible to exercise-induced muscle damage and are slower at adaptation and repair. Studies show that as you age beyond 35 years of age, you see declines in maximum heart rate, VO2 max as well as lean body mass.
Although this may sound discouraging, it doesn’t mean that getting older equals becoming decrepit! Staying active will just take a little extra effort. Flexibility, hydration, keeping an eye on form, as well as increasing rest time are all things that can aide in keeping you active and healthy.
So, when it comes to your next workout try to do these things to keep you performing at your best!
Increase your stretch routine. A proper warm-up and cool-down that involves dynamic and static stretching is important in keeping your connective tissue flexible, elastic, while also increasing blood flow. Foam rolling is also a great way to keep your muscles pliable pre and post workouts!
Eating healthy. As we age, protein synthesis rates decline. In turn, this slows down the rebuilding of muscles and connective tissue. Making sure to increase your protein intake, especially following your workouts will aide in this rebuilding process.
Increase your rest time. The inflammatory response within the muscles decreases with age. This means the repair of muscles decreases. Increasing the rest time between harder work outs as well as using active recovery (light jogging, pool workouts, etc) will help with this process.
As you can see, recovery can take on many different forms. Complete rest, active recovery, stretching, and proper nutrition are just some of the ways that you can help your body recover. If you have any questions regarding this or any other issues within your fitness routine don’t hesitate to contact us!