How to Improve Your Flexibility – Mens Fitness Over 40
As you grow old, your body starts to get stiffer, and your tendons and ligaments won’t be as flexible as they once were. While it may not sound like a huge concern, it can make you prone to injuries, which will prevent you from having an active lifestyle. Exercising gets more and more important once you’ve hit the 40-year mark, and you want to make sure that you can stay healthy so that you can enjoy daily activities with your family. An injury will put that lifestyle to a halt, and it’s a lot more common than you’d think. Something as simple as walking up the stairs or bending down to lift a heavy object can tear your ligaments if you don’t take good care of them. Combine that with the fact that your body won’t be able to recover from it as effectively as when you were younger, and you’ll be lucky if you don’t end up in bed for a week.
One of the best ways to do this is by making flexibility training a part of your day, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Include Flexibility Training in Your Workout Routine
When we talk about workout routines, flexibility training might not be the first thing that comes to mind for most people. However, that’s where many people get it wrong. Overlooking the importance of stretching is a mistake you shouldn’t commit due to the reasons mentioned above. If you want to stay healthy during your golden years, you have to include these flexibility exercises in your workout routine at least twice a week:
// Static Stretching
Static stretching is when you sit or stand in place when you’re stretching a tendon or ligament. This should be done as a part of your cooldown routine after a workout to get rid of the stress you’ve put onto them. There are many stretches you can do, but it’s important that you hold the position for around 30 seconds to ensure that your tendons, muscles, and ligaments are completely relaxed. You might struggle to do this on your first few days, but with time and patience, you will start to see yourself improve.
// Bent Knee Stretch
The knees are where most people over 40 struggle with most, and it’s not hard to see why. Your knees have to handle a lot of stress, as almost every motion you do when you’re standing up involves the knees in some way. Walking, climbing, running, jumping, or lifting all require some help from your knees. You want to make sure that they are in peak condition for as long as possible so you can continue to do these things. The best ways to stretch your knees is to lie down, put your hands on one knee and pull it towards your chest while the other leg lies flat. Hold that position for around 30 seconds and move on to the other knee. Then, you can stretch your knees out all the way so that your leg makes a 90-degree angle with your body. Hold that position for 30 seconds; repeat with your other knee. Make sure you do this after every workout or whenever you have a few free minutes during your day, as it can help to ensure a healthy pair of knees.
// Seated Static Stretch
A good work-life balance is hard to come by these days, so you want to make sure you take good care of your body whenever you can. When you’re at the office, you could look to do some static stretches while sitting down. It doesn’t take long, and it’s very easy to do. You can do this by sitting upright with your back straight so that your knees make a 90-degree angle. From that position, lean your body forward slightly while curling your knees up so that your feet are pointed behind you. You can rotate your feet while doing this to maximize the stretch of the entire lower half of your body as well.
// Hamstring Stretch
Many people may not think that the hamstrings are in any way related to the knees, but the hamstrings can actually take a lot of heavy weight off of these joints. To stretch your hamstrings, start in an upright standing position, then put one leg slightly in front of your body. Tilt your body slightly forward and try to focus your weight to be on your buttock. You should start to feel the stretch in your hamstring. Do this as many times as you want in a day.
// Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretches are better as a pre-workout routine, as they help to activate your muscles and joints so that they are prepared for a workout. One of the best ways to stretch your knees is to do a lateral leg swing. To do this, find a nearest horizontal bar that can hold your weight when you push against it. Walk up to the bar and face it, then put both your hands on the bar and tilt your hip to one side. Lift the leg that is closer to the bar and starts swinging that leg from side to side for about 15 to 20 swings before repeating the same process on the other leg. This engages the entire lower half of your body, and may even help to get your sweat flowing, which is good for warming up for a workout.
If you're focusing on fitness for men over 40, we recommend these techniques to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.