Nothing beats the feeling of a post-workout buzz. After being active, you always feel a bit lighter in your body and mind. But if you become dehydrated or overheated, you might end up feeling worse.
Staying active in your senior years can help you avoid health complications. However, it’s crucial to take proper care of your body before and after you exercise. Otherwise, you may suffer from health issues that will negate the benefits of physical activity!
If you’re planning to be active, be sure to do so safely. Here’s why seniors should take the time to cool down and drink water after exercising:
Why Staying Hydrated Matters
As a senior, it’s important to increase your water intake before, during, and after physical activity. Water keeps your joints and muscles lubricated, which prevents you from straining or injuring your body. It also helps to regulate your body temperature, so you can feel comfortable even when you’re working hard.
Try to remember to drink water after exercising. Or, you can eat hydrating foods like cucumbers, watermelons, and soup.
Enjoy the Benefits of Exercise, Without the Pain
You might be familiar with the many benefits of exercise; it’s good for your heart, your muscles, and your blood circulation. Something you hear less often is how it helps your mind, too. It gives you time to catch your breath and slow your thoughts.
When you’re done working out, you might feel a sense of satisfaction. But you’ll find it harder to enjoy all the benefits if you injure yourself during exercise. Reduce the chances of pulling or straining a muscle by cooling down with these stretching tips:
- Each time you hold a pose, remember to breathe. Take deep, slow breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
- Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
- If any of the stretches cause discomfort, try applying less pressure.
- Use a tennis ball or foam roller to stretch any sore muscles.
Preparing for a Workout
As we get older, our bodies need a bit more time to warm up before we exercise.
Sweat cools you down, which helps you avoid overheating. However, it also causes you to lose body fluid. It’s important to combat this with a higher water intake to avoid dehydration. You can expect that during your workout, you’ll lose quite a bit of fluid.
Account for this by drinking water even before you get active. Bring a bottle of water with you to your workout and remember to drink from it regularly.
It can be tough to remember to drink more water. To remind yourself, you can plan water breaks into your exercise routine. Or, set a timer on your phone to remind yourself every 10-15 minutes.
Cooling down after a workout does more than lower your body temperature. It also gradually slows your heart rate and relieves tense muscles.
If you abruptly stop exercising, your heart rate will fall suddenly, which can put stress on the body. It may even make you feel lightheaded, nauseous, or pass out. For your cardiovascular health, spend a few minutes stretching after every workout.
Stretching has another bonus: it encourages better circulation and blood flow which relieve lactic acid build-up. Lactic acid is what contributes to sore muscles after you exercise.
Many seniors already deal with arthritis or chronic pain. A post-workout stretch goes a long way in alleviating sore muscles. Spending just 10-15 minutes stretching can help reduce muscle soreness the next day.
Signs of Dehydration
The owner of Right at Home writes, “Physical exercise is great for the body and the mind, especially for seniors. But sometimes we get so caught up in our activities that we forget to stay hydrated!”
Worried that you’re becoming dehydrated? Watch for these signs:
- Low blood pressure
- Weak pulse
- Dark-coloured urine
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
If you notice any of these signs, you may be suffering from heat stroke or dehydration. We advise you to seek medical attention right away.
It’s beneficial to stay active during your golden years. But it’s just as important to take care of your body before and after exercise.
The next time you’re planning a workout routine, set aside time to drink water and cool down afterward. Doing so will not only alleviate tension and help you relax, but it can also prevent serious health complications.
At Omni Fitt, our goal is to motivate and empower seniors to exercise in a healthy way. Our products and programs are designed to promote holistic wellness. To learn more about our services, contact us today.