Exercise is crucial to staying healthy — especially as you age. But working out after 50 is very different than it was when you were in your 20s. You get tired more quickly and muscle and joint aches come with the territory. Injuries are just as unwelcome but far more common. Still, the benefits are undeniable. Working out a few times a week can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, improve flexibility, increase bone density, and improve your mood. Even better, there is one thing you can do to reduce the drawbacks of exercise that come with age — and it's free (which can't be said of many overpriced and unnecessary workout boosters).
While it's important to add weight lifting to your routine to stave off age-related muscle loss, it's also crucial to add stretching to the end of every workout and to warm-up thoroughly before you start. Both of these tasks may have been no big deal to skip when you were younger, but the flexibility of collagenous tendons, which connect muscles to bones, decreases with age, making these practices necessities after age 50.
Making sure your workout routine has this one-two punch will reduce the chances of sore joints and injury — the biggest threats to maintaining your workout routine for the long haul. Wondering where to start? Check out Silver Sneakers or find a stretching routine on YouTube and you're on your way.