While we all know that exercise routines and diet change as we age, no one really discusses how the recovery process (especially sports recovery) also changes over the years. Since the time spent before and after activity is the most important aspect of the muscle building and muscle maintenance processes, we've included the top tips from medical professionals on the topic of muscle recovery after 50.
The Importance of Stretching
The first rule that requires some adjustment once you reach middle age years and older is the stretching rule. Usually we're told that you should stretch 2-3 times a week, but this becomes much more important as you age. Stretching should take place after every single workout, and then some if possible. According to adjunct professor of exercise science at Huntingdon College, Michele Olson, flexibility starts to decrease since it is "related to the collagenous tendons, which is part of our lean body mass" which also decreases as we age. Plenty of stretching is what can help slow this down, paired with enough rest time of course.
Strength Over Cardio
The second rule is to focus on strength training and start prioritizing it over cardio. This is due to the fact that bone density decreases and the risk for bone fractures increases. High impact cardio increases the likelihood of these fractures, while strength training helps enforce the tissue and joints that surround the bone. Notice the trend- exercise and recovery should revolve around longevity rather than speedy results.
As everything starts to slow down over time, so does circulation and therefore healing- as they are very closely connected. This is where electrical stimulation comes in to keep things moving. These processes can be kickstarted through a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve simulation) Unit simultaneously. These units provide non-invasive pain relief for sore joints and muscles as well as improved circulation overall. We typically recommend the Verve Unit by Massage Therapy Concepts, since it has a multitude of settings and strengths to specifically fit your needs.
Click the image to learn more about the Verve and how it can serve your recovery needs.