Thirty isn’t old, but it’s old enough to make you more susceptible to certain types of exercise-related injuries.
Talk about irony. Your body needs exercise even more after you hit the age of 30. Yet, at the same time, your body also starts to become more prone to injuries as a result of exercise.
The good news is that you can get the health benefits you need from exercise while still protecting yourself from the risk of getting hurt. Here’s what you need to know about the most common areas of injury.
The reasons why you need to exercise more after age 30
You’re not imagining it: The possibility of weight gain increases as you age. It’s because your body needs fewer calories once you reach the age of 30. Your metabolism begins to slow down as you gradually begin to shed muscle mass and replace it with fat.
You’ll gain weight if you don’t reduce your calorie intake, or if you don’t increase your physical activity. Health experts recommend both, but it’s more important to get active if you don’t already have a regular exercise regimen.
Physical activity also has an anti-aging effect at a cellular level. At the end of our chromosomes are pieces of DNA called telomeres. Think of them as the shoelace tip of your chromosome. Telomeres help prevent our chromosomes from fraying, which contributes to the process of aging. Exercise has been shown to reduce telomere erosion. It doesn’t make exercise the Fountain of Youth, but it can reduce the risk of age-related health problems such as heart disease.
HuffPost says exercise in your 30s – especially after the age of 35 – is so crucial that the website recommends four “non-negotiable” exercises.
- Squats help to increase lean muscle mass and maintain the integrity of joints.
- Single-leg exercises train the body to balance and help support your overall weight.
- Strength and mobility exercises help you maintain mobility.
- Cardio helps to increase mitochondrial growth, which can assist you with burning fat.
Injury prevention gets more difficult after 30
Exercise injuries are possible at any age, but it’s important to remember that you begin to lose muscle mass over the age of 30. The majority of exercise-related injuries as you leave your 20s will be related to muscles or joints.
The most common injury related to exercise for those over 30 is a strained back. This is less of a surprise if you think about how you likely spend most of your day. Do you have an office job that keeps you sitting in front of the computer or at a desk? Your back muscles weaken from underuse. Even a slight overexertion during exercise is enough to give you a painful muscle strain. Remember to lift with your legs. Focus on gradually strengthening your back with low-intensity exercises.
Strained shoulders are a common exercise-related injury for those over the age of 30. Again, it’s often related to the poor posture we adopt because of sitting at a desk at the office. Our shoulder joints have a wide range of motion, but lack of use makes it easy to dislocate your shoulder or damage your rotator cuff during vigorous exercise. Work up to exercise that involves your shoulders. Start with wall pushups or some elastic-tube resistance training.
Another common injury is called runner’s knee, and you can suffer from this even if you don’t do a lot of running. The condition is caused by an irritation of the cartilage under your kneecap. Gradually build up your hip, glute, and quad muscles to help prevent this painful condition.
Our connective tissues start to lose elasticity as we age, which is why people over the age of 30 discover more problems with their Achilles tendon. It’s the largest tendon in the body, so it’s not surprising that it’s the one that can give us problems, such as Achilles tendonitis. Reduced exercise activity and gentle calf stretching can help with this common exercise injury.
Pain relief as part of your exercise plan
We’re learning more about how our bodies change as we age, and we’re also discovering more efficient ways to manage the pain associated with exercise. Professional and amateur athletes are becoming more aware of the possible negative health concerns related to oral pain relievers.
If you also share this concern, it’s time to look into the benefits of using a topical analgesic. CopperGel is pill-free pain relief that you can roll on wherever you are and whenever you need it. Visit our site to learn more.