How to Avoid Injuries In The Gym After the Age of 40
Getting older is tough. The things that used to be so easy for you to do are now causing you pain and discomfort long after the workout. It takes you longer to recover. Exercise and strength training is one of the most important things we can do to maintain health and promote longevity. However, as we age we have to be more mindful of our workouts to avoid chronic pain and injury.
Today we cover three of the most important things you can do in the gym to avoid injuries after the age of 40.
Avoid High Impact Activities
It’s as simple as some movements just aren’t ideal for our body’s past a certain age. One in particular that comes to mind is box jumps. We see and hear so many people in their 40’s and 50’s jumping up 30 inches and then worse - jumping down 30”. This places a huge impact and load through our foot, knees, hips, Achilles. Something that puts us at a high risk for injury.
Keep your goals in mind. My guess is that at the age of 40 your goal wouldn’t be to have a 30” vertical or explosive jump/land mechanics. Limit high impact activities by either modifying or replacing movements that put excessive force through your body.
Pay Close Attention to How You’re Moving
Most people who have experience in the gym setting have decent to adequate form at the start of the workout. The problem arises as we fatigue. As we get tired our form is the first thing to go. What started as perfect lifting technique is now back rounded and if we as we try to ‘power through’ the workout.
By really paying attention to what muscles we’re using and slowing down our movements - we can continue the workout in a way that protects our joints and muscles from further injury.
Give Yourself More Time to Recover
You’ve probably noticed that the older we get the longer it takes to recover from a workout. Exercise and strength entails the breakdown of muscles and other tissues (to grow back even stronger)which can cause pain and soreness - but without adequate time to recover we don’t give our tissues the time needed to fully ‘heal’.
Recovery days don’t mean you have to do nothing. ‘Active Recovery’ days where we mix in lower impact activities like yoga, stretching, light cardio - anything that incorporates movement without stressing the muscles and joints in the same ways as the previous day.
Evolve Performance Healthcare specializes in helping active adults so stay moving and strong so they can keep up with their fitness routine. We’ve helped 100’s of clients maintain their active lifestyle though our combination of manual therapy and movement and strength training.