Our goals as we age, should include strengthening our bodies. Why is it that so many of us are so resistant to that? We act like getting fatter, weaker, and more lethargic is “a part of natural aging”. IT IS NOT!! Studies have proven that an aging body can get stronger in the same amount of time as a youthful body. Male or female, we can all get stronger, fitter, more energized, and sexier as we age! There is such an obvious look of confidence on the face of someone over 40 that practices strength training, and healthy eating. They walk more erect, (ha ha, pun intended, hey flexing your muscles gets your blood flowing right?!) They walk faster, and they have a zest for life. Most people, myself included in the over 40 crowd, that has weight trained, has most likely had an injury or two. Does that mean you should stop? NO! Does that mean you should pay more attention to things like eating for strength, and recovery? YES! Does it also mean that things like water, supplements that aid recovery, and stretching should be a big part of your life, HELL YES!! So, listen up. These are some things that could possibly help you get strong, recover quicker, and really pay attention to your bodies needs.
1. ALWAYS eat before you work out, approximately 1 hour before. Forget the myth that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more calories. If you don’t have the energy to work out from not having eaten, you are not going to have proper strength, which could mean bad form, which could lead to injury.
2. HYDRATE!! Water, yes……water mixed with a carb/protein supplement better, water mixed with a carb/protein/glutamine supplement EVEN BETTER!! This will help you to keep your glucose levels up, your energy levels up, and the most important thing, your intensity levels at their highest!
3. USE PROPER FORM. Never sacrifice bad form just to bang out a few extra reps. This could lead to injury, or an overuse injury. It is of utmost importance, that form be paid attention to during every part of the lift. Abs and hips tight and aligned. Mind body connection engaged. Concentration at it’s peak level so you can focus on every body part that you are working.
4. WARM UP. Warm up with at least a 5 min cardio session, followed by one set of each lift that you are doing for each muscle group, BEFORE you start adding weight. The idea is to prime your muscles, not ruin them for the future!
5. COOL DOWN. In the last part of your workout, you should do a series of stretches that elongate, and prevent the build up of lactic acid. Stretching after the workout can lessen your delayed onset of muscle soreness, and aid in the recovery of your muscles.
6. REFUEL. THIS IS KEY!!!! You have a window of opportunity that lessens every 15 minutes after you workout. DRINK A PROTEIN/CARB/SHAKE within 30-45minutes following your workout. Keep the powder in your car to mix with water so you have no excuses…..this will help with the rebuilding phase in your muscles. It will also keep your energy levels up so you don’t crash from your glucose stores being depleted. In the book NUTRIENT TIMING …studies show that you can increase your rate of muscular hypertrophy and endurance by up to 300% by following this rule!!
7. SLEEP. The only time your muscles repair, and build, is when you are asleep. Period! Get at least 7 hours per night!
DON’T AGE GRACEFULLY!!
KICK AGING TO THE CURB WITH STRENGTH, HEALTHY EATING, AND REST!
Check with your health care practitioner before starting a new plan, but get going, time is closing in on you!