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Staying Fit With Age: Advice From an Orthopedic Surgeon Who’s Seen It All

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As we grow older, our hair gets grayer, our wrinkles get deeper, and our bones get weaker. Aging is an inevitable part of life, after all — but that doesn't mean we should stop moving. If anything, we should make it a point to stay even more active as we head into our golden years.

But there are some things you should know about working out as you age. We spoke to Armin Tehrany, MD, the founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care, to learn more about how to stay fit — as well as safe and injury-free — once you've made it "over the hill." Here are his top two tips.

1. Transition to outdoor workouts carefully.

Many of us might be ready to move our fitness routine back outside after a long winter. My advice is to not push yourself too hard when you make the transition to outdoor workouts. Your joints may be used to the impact of a treadmill or indoor bike; however, running or biking on pavement outside is a heavier impact. Starting your outdoor workout slow will help protect your joints.

Additionally, it’s important to train full-body when you make the switch from indoor to outdoor workouts. Many people focus primarily on cardio exercises outside, but don’t overlook strength training. Things like body weight movements or kettlebell exercises can help make sure you are building your strength in addition to practicing cardio, which can help with muscle and joint stability. Lastly, make sure you are wearing the proper footwear to support your outdoor workout.

2. Take up foam rolling.

Foam rolling has many benefits for women, including reducing tension in the muscles and body, aiding in muscle recovery and blood flow, and injury prevention. Technically known as self-myofascial release (SMR), foam rolling distributes force across soft-tissue layers in the body which helps lengthen muscles and improve mobility. I suggest foam rolling daily anywhere from five to 20 minutes.

Ideally, foam rolling should be done both pre-workout and post-workout or anytime you are feeling muscle soreness or tension. Using a foam roller before exercising helps to reduce tension and gets blood flowing throughout the body; afterward, it can help aid in muscle recovery. It's normal for foam-rolling to feel unpleasant as a beginner; try thinking of it as a personal deep tissue massage. My advice is to keep at it, and to practice foam rolling daily. Over time, your body will start to reap the benefits of it and it will start to feel enjoyable rather than painful.

These tips are courtesy of Dr. Armin Tehrany of Manhattan Orthopedic Care. To find out more, visit mocnyc.com.

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