Advice for fitness after 40 usually highlights flexibility as a key component. Within OlderBeast philosophy, flexibility is one foundation of the “endurance, strength, flexibility and balance” goal set. (Come to think of it, those are good goals for long-term mental state, too. But that topic’s for a different day).
As much as the flexibility goal is touted, though, there’s surprisingly little high-quality, standalone advice out there on stretching routines.
- “High quality” means good/smart stretches are included AND explained clearly, with variations laid out to figure out what works best for you.
- “Standalone” means flexibility advice is independent of larger workout programs, many of which you need to pay for.
USEFUL RESOURCES ON FLEXIBILITY / STRETCHING
Here are three resources I think you’ll find useful. None is perfect. But together, they constitute a good start if you currently do little or no stretching. Or they can help you add to or refine things you already do.
- Basic stretching routine from the Mayo Clinic. This organization is impressively versatile across different fitness/nutrition/health dimensions. And as a “dot-org,” you know they’re not driven by ulterior profit motives.
- Nice stretching routine from a small bodyweight-training site. The visuals here are really basic, but the routine suggested is solid. Again, take all things like this as sources of input, and figure out what feels effective for yourself, man.
- Program intended to make flexibility progress if you’ve plateaued with other approaches. These guys are selling a $95 flexibility course (I may try it). But the intro article itself is useful, and they have a free preview course you can try for a few days.
I know, dude. Stretching is hard to be diligent about. Partly due to time constraints. If you only have so much time for a workout, you don’t want to cut the endurance or strength part of it short “just” to stretch. And partly because most of us are not very flexible, and so stretching is physically tough and highlights something we’re not “good” at.
But we gotta do it, brother. Progressive loss of flexibility will impact all other aspect of our physical lives (and maybe even mental ones, if it impacts our self image).
And the good news is, you can make meaningful progress on flexibility if you dedicate a short amount of time to it.
But the muscles aren’t going to “stretch themselves,” man — you need to make a choice to spend a few minutes on this each day!
“Come on the risin’ wind. We’re goin’ up around the bend.” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Up Around the Bend — click to listen)
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