I can remember when I used to just leap out of bed and “glide” to the bathroom in the morning.
Well perhaps I didn’t quite “glide”. But now when I look back on it….it certainly felt like it!
That early morning stiffness is just a natural part of the ageing process. As we age, we do lose mobility. This is partly due to our bone structure gradually changing, as well as the shortening of tendons and ligaments within the joints. These two processes are what make us feel that little bit stiffer in the morning.
The nice thing though, is that we are not alone. It is the understanding of this natural ageing process that can help us make relatively simple changes to our training style and movement patterns, to alleviate the process.
The key areas that stiffen up and degenerate the most are….
- Thoracic Spine
- Make Daily Stretching Your Friend!
Stretching the above key areas daily with a series of dynamic and static stretches will leave you feeling more fluid and lighter in the body.
Have a simple daily stretch routine that you do every morning.
The yoga Sun Salutation is ideal or the Dynamic Stretch Sequence as featured in the CoreStrength50plus programs.
These dynamic styles of stretching can have a huge effect on how you feel throughout the day.
Combining this with exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your joints, will have an amazing long-term effect on how you feel.
- Exercise to Strengthen and Lengthen Your Body
However stiff and uncomfortable you might feel when you get up…..you simply must move your body….
……and move in such a way that you get to bend, reach, twist, pull and push on many different planes.
These movement patterns are your hidden friend in protecting you from injury in your day-to-day life.
But I Really Don’t Like Exercising!
You don’t have to “love” exercising……many people simply will not! However, I have never met anyone that didn’t feel better after an exercise session.
Whenever you try and talk yourself out of an exercise session – focus on that feeling you have after you have worked out! You can’t put a price on that and how damn good your body feels!
To be able to spend the next 20-30 years in an agile, mobile body should be encouragement enough to take the time to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
On a daily basis, everyone’s level of movement required will be different. None of us are the same, we are all unique and it is just about finding something that feels right for you.
Find something that challenges and inspires you to WANT to move.
Strengthen and Lengthen
Focus on the idea at this stage in life, of not only strengthening your muscles….. but always LENGTHENING them.
None of this needs to be tricky or expensive – just make it consistent!
Mix It Up!
Yes, we need to challenge and push our bodies to make changes but we also need to find a way to enjoy the process.
Having a variety of workouts or outdoor activities that make you feel good is the key!
Mix it up – keep it interesting and you will make it part of your daily life with ease.
- Include “Twists” In Your Workouts
Always include “twists” in your workouts. Exercises that encourage you to rotate your spine.
These rotational movements and twists will free up your spinal muscles, stretch out your abdominal muscles and give your abdominal organs a good massage in the process………
…….creating flexibility and fluidity in your body.
- Trigger Point Roller
This is an essential part of your training kit.
Our bodies are covered from head to toe with a fine membrane of connective tissue called “fascia”. This fascia can become constricted and tight from many different factors…..
- Poor Nutrition
- Bad Posture
- Lack of Exercise
By using your roller regularly it stretches and loosens the fascia resulting in less muscle and joint pain and increased circulation.
- Consistency Is Key
Establishing a routine is essential to your success. You will reap the rewards by being consistent in your training journey.
On training days when your energy is low or time is an issue….always have a backup plan.
I have always been a very “routine” person. Even as a child I was very routine in what I ate and the exercise I did. I can easily look back now at different stages of my life and see that I was too hard on myself.
It has been a learning process for me and I have since learnt to listen to my body and FEEL what it is telling me.
I still follow a training routine that works for me but when I don’t feel up to a certain style of workout….I don’t skip my workout I just choose to do something else… I go for a walk or bike ride or simply do a great stretch routine instead….
It’s all about being consistent.
Remember: Consistency Is The Key to Your Success!
Like your morning routine of brushing your teeth, you also do YOUR daily stretching and workout.
To feel agile and flexible in your body is a wonderful thing and these 5 achievable steps will get you there.
Elaine is a Master Trainer with over 27 years of experience in nutrition and training styles. Being in her 50’s she understands what works for this age group. That is why she has developed the CBT20 Core Body Transformation 20 online 14 week training program and the CF20 Core Fusion 20 online 8 week training program. Elaine has also published a free E-Book on developing core strength in your 50’s.