Strengthening, Stretching and Balance
You get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance are all important right?
But how do we know how much strength we need? How much flexibility we need? And how much balance we need? These are the real questions we need to be asking ourselves. Not everyone is conditioning for a chosen sport such as golf, tennis, biking, running or skiing. Some people may need just enough conditioning/toning for gardening, cleaning their homes, playing with the grandkids, their own kids, or traveling about.
Upshot Strength Question:
Can I do the things I need to do throughout the day without getting too tired in the muscles.
If your answer is no, then you need to up your strength in the weight department. That usually means going to the gym.
Everyone has a different daily routine- some are vigorous and some are not so much. Your level of strength needs to match what you want to do.
Often we think we do not want to do something we once loved, like gardening or hikes in the woods, mainly because we are deconditioned. Passion for what we used to do can often be reignited by strengthening our bodies, increasing the joint range of motion, and feeling grounded in balance. Cardiovascular fitness plays a role in heart conditioning but this newsletter is not directly about cardiovascular training.
How Do We Know We Are Strong Enough? Flexible Enough? And Balanced Enough?
When you can do what you want to do without getting overly fatigued and thoroughly enjoy the activity, then, and only then are you as strong, flexible, and balanced as you need to be.
Don’t confuse this with training in the gym however. When you are in the gym lifting weights, fatigue is what we need to aim for. Why? Because a fatigued muscle is a stronger muscle. And a stronger muscle can put up with the demands of either your chosen sport or whatever you need or desire to do daily.
The intent for many people after age 40 is usually not to be in the gym because they love it, but to be in the gym so they may be able to do what they want to do! That’s why I go. This is in sharp contrast to years ago when I was in the gym because of the love of it! Now I condition just enough for my chosen sport which is tennis, and to keep my back from caving forward from increased computer usage.
Thinking You Need To Step Things Up?
Do these exercises several times before we meet again.
Hold for one minute each leg.
Hold for one minute keeping abdominals pressed in supporting back ( build time incrementally).
Hold for one minute receiving stretch in lower back and front of thigh/quadriceps.
Balance Strength and Stretch:
Hold for one minute ( build time incrementally).