Muscle strains and sprains become more common as we age, and with the onset of the outdoor season the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) has published guidelines to help seniors avoid injuries while gardening, exercising or vacationing.
The expert stresses exercise is a great natural health resource that may help stave off serious disease, depression, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep disturbances.
“Baby boomers have become increasingly active as they age and orthopaedic surgeons think this trend will continue,” says Dr. Ray Monto, spokesperson for the AAOS, adding, however, that their joints, tissues and muscles may not be as flexible as they were at 20.
“So as boomers age, they should take extra steps to protect themselves from injuries when exercising,” he adds.
In that vein, AAOS stresses the importance of warming up and stretching before exercising as cold muscles are more likely to get injured.
Moreover, exercise should be spread moderately throughout the week rather than taking place in bursts of intense activity on weekends only.
As developing a balanced fitness program, incorporating cardio, strength training and flexibility training to get a total body workout can go a long way towards reducing the risk of injuries, the association suggests some people may benefit from taking fitness lessons or joining a class.
Finally, for overall maintenance of muscle health, AAOS recommends taking nutritional supplements containing vitamin D.