The #1 Secret to Active Aging Fitness Success
The active aging population is the fastest growing population. Even though this group of individuals may be active, it does not mean they are feeling and moving great.
In fact, this group of active aging individuals is more often than not being shut down due to increase joint stiffness along with muscle and joint related injuries. Most of these muscle and joint related injuries could be eliminated if this group incorporated a better strategy when it comes to preparing their body for exercise.
After 30+ years of working with adults that want to exercise to stay active, I have discovered the #1 secret to accomplishing this that very few adult fitness enthusiasts do.
The Warm Up is a Forgotten Component of Most Exercise Programs
As an adult fitness camp instructor, I see it every week—adults initiating a workout after dedicating less than 2 minutes workout preparation.
Think about this…
Your car as been parked outside in sub-zero degree temperatures for over 12 hours and you have to now use it. Most adults will start their car and let it run for at least 5 minutes. Why??
You just woke up and you have to get in an aggressive workout. Do you go immediately from getting out of bed to doing your workout?
Your son has a big basketball game tonight at 7:00 pm. He has to be at the school by 5:30 so he is ready to take the court at 6:30. Why does he need to be on the court so early??
The answer to each of these scenarios is the same. Warming up will enhance performance and decrease the likelihood of something breaking or getting aggravated.
So if that is the case, why do I see adults that are about to workout, walk into the gym or into a fitness camp and jump right into the workout? The problem is they do not respect the importance of a warm up or how to use a warm up to enhance the longevity of fitness.
#1 Secret to Fitness Longevity: Warming Up Properly
There are several reasons why you need to warm up, especially if you want to continue to exercise so you can remain an active aging adult that looks, feels and moves great.
As we age, tendons become dryer. This means there is a greater level of friction which leads to a greater likelihood of tendon inflammation that leads to tendonitis. By warming up properly, it allows the tendon to soften up and become more lubricated which lessens friction and inflammation.
As we age, the nervous system slows down which decreases reaction time. By slowly going through a progressively faster warm up, it excites the nervous system safely and increases response time. As a result, there is less concern for muscle injury caused by muscles not being ready to do a more aggressive workout.
Elongating muscles using a ballistic type stretching approach prepares the muscle to handle any type of ballistic movements that you are about to incorporate into your workout. This is the reason why athletes take 20 to 30 minutes to prepare for a sporting event.
Creating a Warm Up Mindset
For most individuals, warming up is a necessary evil they have to do prior to working out. Few adults view a warm up as an opportunity to work on deficits in muscle inflexibility and joint mobility.
As a fitness coach, I am constantly reminding adults the importance of using the warm up as a time to improve flexibility, myofascial mobility or mobility restricted joints.
I also show them how to incorporate a pre-workout round that allows them to start working out using low resistance exercises that increase their heart rate while getting all key muscle stabilizers on board.
Resistance bands are a great warm up tool for several reasons:
- They can be used to lengthen out muscles while mobilizing all joints
- They are low level resistance to progressively activate muscles
- They can simulate any strength training movement using a low level resistance
- Their ascending resistance allows speed of reps to slowly be increased
Here are two different warm up approaches using resistance bands that I implement on a weekly basis:
Why Warm Up
Flow Single Band Warm Up
For adults that wish to create fitness longevity, it will be critical they begin to approach the warm up with a greater level of importance and strategy. Bands allow adults to lengthen, mobilize, activate and incorporate a low level of resistance into an effective warm up routine.