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. it certainly felt like it!
That early morning ‘stiff and awkward shuffle’ as you get out of bed, is just a natural part of the ageing process. But as you age, you do lose that ‘gliding’ feeling. This is partly due to your bone structure gradually changing. As well as your tendons and ligaments getting shorter within your joints. These two, are what make you feel that little bit ‘stiffer’ and ‘un-cat-like’ in the morning.
The good thing though, is that you’re not alone. It’s understanding this natural ageing process, that can help you make simple changes to the way you train and the type of movements you do, when you train. Get these right and you will be gliding like a cat!.
I’m not a cat fan (sorry to all you cat lovers) but I LOVE watching them move! Amazing!
Your body parts that stiffen up and age the most, are your……….
Thoracic (middle) Spine
Make Daily Stretching Your Friend!
Stretching the above areas each day, with a series of dynamic (flowing) and static (holding) 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 all the CoreStrength50plus programs. These dynamic styles of stretching will change the way you feel for the rest of the day. Combining this with exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your joints, will get you moving like a cat in no time!
Exercise to Strengthen and Lengthen Your Body
However stiff and uncomfortable you might feel when you get up………you MUST still exercise your body….……AND exercise in such a way that you get to –
pull and push
………….within all sorts of different exercises . These types of exercises are your hidden friend in protecting you from injury.
But I Really Don’t Like Exercising!
You don’t have to “love” exercising………many people don’t! However, I’ve never met anyone that didn’t feel better after an exercise session.
Whenever you try and talk yourself out of doing your workout – focus on that feeling you have AFTER you’ve worked out! You can’t put a price on that and how damn good your body AND mind feels!
To spend the next 20-30 years in a ‘cat-like’ body, should be motivation enough to get stretching AND making your muscles strong!
None of us are the same. You’re unique. So 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, you need to challenge and push your body to make changes, but you also need to find a way to enjoy it. So having a mix of workouts or physical outdoor activities that make YOU feel good, is the key!
Mix it up – keep it interesting and you WILL make it part of your day.
Include “Twists” In Your Workouts
Always include “twists” in your workouts. Exercises that make you rotate your spine. These twists will free up the muscles down your spine, stretch out your ab muscles and give your abdominal organs a good massage in the process! This creates flexibility and free movement, in your body.
Trigger Point Roller
This is an essential part of your training kit. Your body is 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…..
Lack of Exercise
By using your roller before every workout, it stretches and loosens the fascia resulting in less muscle and joint pain and increased circulation. A Win/Win!
Consistency Is Key
Get your butt into a routine! Even if you’re not a ‘routine’ person. Make exercising into a routine. Because it’s the only way, you’ll have success!
On your workout days, when your energy is low or time is an issue, always have a backup plan.
I’ve always been a very “routine” person.
Even as a child I was very routine in what I ate and the exercise I did. Now I look back at different stages of my life and see that I was too hard on myself. It’s been a learning process for me and I’ve learnt over the years to listen to my body and FEEL what it’s telling me.
So when your body (not your mind!) really doesn’t feel up to a certain style of workout, don’t skip your workout, just choose to do something else…….
go for a walk
take a bike ride
or do a stretch routine
It’s all about being consistent.
Remember: Consistency Is The Key to Your Success!
Like your morning routine of brushing your teeth, you DO your daily stretching and workout.