Update: December 28, 2016
Although we tried to touch quickly on some great stretches for those passing 30 we’ve found an even better resource that we would like to link you to.
Brad Walker over at Stretch Coach has put together what we consider to be one of the BEST and most comprehensive list of stretching videos and tips. He not only breaks them down by muscle group but also by sport! Click here for Brad’s amazing stretching videos and don’t forget to check out his mailing list. We signed up last week and have been blown away by the free advice and content he is giving out.
They say that youth is wasted on the young, and this is true. When you’re in your teens and twenties, you have endless amounts of energy. You bounce right back after workouts, suffering from very little soreness or stiffness. You’re able to lose weight and keep it off with very little struggle. You can stay up partying all night and still function the next day. You feel invincible! but why stretching is hugely beneficial when you are over thirty?
After thirty, things slowly begin to change. You do something simple like comb your hair—or maybe even just go to sleep! —and pull a muscle. After trying a new workout routine, it takes days for your sore muscles to recover. Losing weight and trimming up takes a little more thought and effort than it used to. You’re a lot more tired than you were ten years ago. What happened?
As we age, keeping our bodies in good shape takes a little more work. One easy way to take care of yourself after the age of thirty is to get in the habit of stretching. Although this might seem silly when compared to more aggressive exercises, stretching can help your body stay in shape better and bounce back faster after working out. It can help improve your body’s performance, as well as decrease the chance that you will injure yourself while exercising.
Stretching Before Workout
- Taking a few minutes to stretch before working out can help increase blood flow to your muscles. Because your muscles will be cold when you start from scratch.
- Do a bit of walking or light jogging in place to warm up your muscles before you give them a good stretch. When you do begin to stretch, focus on your large muscles—the ones that will be worked and strained the most during your exercise routine.
- When you stretch, don’t give into the urge to bounce in order to push your muscles farther, as this can result in injury. Simply hold the stretch as far as you feel comfortable.
Practicing Yoga for Flexibility
If you really want to reap the huge rewards of stretching, make it part of your overall exercise routine through practicing yoga a few times a week. Especially for people over the age of thirty, practicing yoga can greatly benefit both the mind and the body. It helps stretch muscles, keeping them more agile and flexible. As you get even older, this will keep you healthier and mobile. Yoga can also help improve your posture—something that is helpful to all of us in this day of hunching over laptops and staring down at smartphones.
Yoga is also a great form of exercise. Although there are yoga classes that consist of very slow, gentle movements, many yoga sessions really get participants moving, breathing, and sweating hard. Various poses work to build muscle by using the body’s own weight and resistance. Moving from one pose to another gets the heart and blood pumping—an excellent cardio workout. Like other workout routines, yoga helps you feel less stressed, as well as more energized.
Beginner Stretching Routine
For those who wish to start smaller with a stretching exercise, as well as though who may have pre-existing health issues or injuries, tai chi may be the way to go. Tai chi takes martial arts body movements and slows them down into a gentle, flowing, stretching dance. It employs deep breathing, slow, peaceful movements, and intense focus in order to exercise and relax both the mind and the body. Tai chi is a sort of meditation through movement, and it carries with it many of the health benefits of yoga. Increased flexibility, better muscle strength, and reduced stress are just a few of the ways that tai chi helps its practitioners. Because the movements are so slow and gentle, the risk of injury is incredibly low for those practicing tai chi.
No matter what kind of a workout routine you choose, after thirty, it’s important to choose one and do it regularly. It’s also important to make stretching some part of that exercise routine. Maybe you’re stretching your muscles before and after a more intense workout like boxing or rock climbing, or perhaps you’ve made yoga or tai chi part of your weekly practice. No matter what, if you take care of your muscles, as you age, they will help take care of you.