If you’re an older woman, improving your fitness and overall health should be a priority considering the “top ten health risks facing women over 40.” You’ve probably heard that resistance and cardiovascular exercises are crucial for weight loss, strong bones, and endurance. However, there is another essential component that is often overlooked: flexibility and mobility exercises. Incorporating a program that promotes flexibility and mobility into your weekly fitness routine can provide numerous benefits, especially as you age. These benefits include improved range of motion, decreased risk of injury, and increased overall physical performance.
One of the most significant benefits of flexibility and mobility exercises is improved range of motion. As we age, our muscles and joints can become tighter, leading to a decrease in flexibility. This can impact our ability to perform basic tasks such as reaching for an item on a high shelf or tying our shoes. However, by engaging in stretching and mobility exercises, you can improve your range of motion and regain flexibility, making daily tasks more manageable. This increased range of motion can also translate into better performance in your other exercises. For example, if you’re a runner, improved flexibility in your hip flexors can lead to a longer stride and faster times.
Another benefit of flexibility and mobility exercises is the reduced risk of injury. Studies show that susceptibility to falls and other accidents is “not just a problem of advanced age, according to researchers in Trinity College Dublin, who have identified a sharp increase in falls after the age of 40, particularly in women.” And, tight muscles and joints can exacerbate this risk. By stretching and mobilizing your muscles and joints, you can decrease the risk of strains, sprains, and other injuries. Additionally, improved flexibility and mobility can also help alleviate joint pain and stiffness, making daily movements more comfortable.
Finally, incorporating flexibility and mobility exercises into your routine can increase your overall physical performance. When you have better range of motion and less stiffness, you can move more efficiently and with greater ease. This can lead to improved performance in your resistance and cardiovascular exercises, as well as other physical activities you engage in. Additionally, improved flexibility and mobility can lead to better posture and alignment, which can also improve overall physical function and decrease your risk of injury.
So, how can you incorporate flexibility and mobility exercises into your weekly routine? There are a few key components to consider. First, make sure you’re engaging in a variety of stretches and mobility exercises that target all major muscle groups and joints. This might include exercises like hip openers, shoulder stretches, and spinal twists. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you’re performing these exercises correctly and safely. Consider taking a CIRCL Mobility™ class, or working with a trainer or physical therapist to ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly.
Another important component to consider is frequency. It’s not enough to stretch once a week and expect to see significant improvements in your flexibility and mobility. Instead, try to incorporate stretching and mobility exercises into your routine on a daily basis. This might mean setting aside a few minutes each morning or evening to perform a short routine of stretches and mobility exercises. Additionally, consider incorporating stretching and mobility exercises into your warm-up and cool-down routines for your resistance and cardiovascular workouts.
Zumba with Kellie has you covered here. Aside from offering the CIRCL Mobility program as a 30-minute standalone class, Kellie ends every class, whether it’s Zumba, Zumba Toning, or STRONG30, with a 12-minute cooldown using modules from CIRCL Mobility. The stretching and mobility exercises help her students feel more relaxed and centered after an intense workout, providing mental and emotional benefits as well.
To sum up, as you age, it becomes more critical to integrate flexibility and mobility exercises into your fitness routine along with resistance and cardiovascular exercises to achieve a well-rounded and effective workout program, allowing you to move better, longer. For women over 40, regularly incorporating a mobility program into your routine can yield numerous benefits such as improved balance, reduced stiffness, increased joint range of motion, enhanced fascia hydration, and optimized performance in daily activities and sports. Remember that the effort you put into your flexibility and mobility training will ultimately pay off in better overall physical health and well-being into your senior years.