As we get older our bodies change. The reaction times from our joints, tendons, and muscles are slower and we don’t recover from injuries as quickly as we used to in our younger years. Therefore, it’s imperative for senior citizens to make every effort to avoid injuring themselves. Here are several tips for senior athletes and active older adults who would like to reduce their risk of injury:
1. Consult the Doctor
Prior to engaging in any sport or exercise program, seniors athletes must consult their doctor. Their doctor can inform them of any conditions that would put them at jeopardy while engaging in a certain sport or exercise. If they have a chronic condition that limits their options, a doctor can help them design an activity plan that is safe for their abilities.
2. Participate in a Balanced Exercise Routine
One of the most effective ways for senior citizens to avoid injury is to participate in a balanced exercise routine on a regular basis. By incorporating cardio, strength training, and stretching into their life for at least 30-minutes a day, 3 times a week, they can sculpt and strengthen their bodies and minimize injury risk as a result.
3. Always Warm Up and Cool Down
Unfortunately, many older adults make the mistake of forgetting to warm up before their sport or exercise program and never cooling down once they are done. By adding a few minutes before and after to warm up and cool down, they will prevent cold muscles which often prompt injuries. Light walking and jogging are great options for warm ups while walking lunges and yoga poses are excellent for cooling down.
4. Focus on Proper Form
Sometimes, senior athletes make the mistake of performing an exercise or engaging in a sport without paying attention to their form. Since proper form is the key to avoiding injuries, older adults may want to consider hiring a personal trainer or another professional to demonstrate good technique and correct their form and posture if necessary.
5. Invest in the Right Equipment
Senior athletes should never participate in a sport if they do not have the right equipment. They should invest in the right shoes, knee pads, helmet, and other gear. Failing to do so can lead to serious injuries down the road.
Injured? Contact EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region
If you are an older adult who has suffered from an injury that hasn’t been relieved with conservative treatments such as resting and over-the-counter pain medications, make an appointment at EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region today. Our doctors will evaluate your injury and design an appropriate treatment plan to help you get back on your feet.