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  • Carol Michaels

Should Someone Over 60 Need to Recover from an Exercise?

A person over 60 should typically not have to “recover” after exercising. A senior who is working out should gradually improve their fitness level in order to avoid having to "recover" each time they exercise. Too many people are reluctant to exercise because they feel too sore the next day and even sometimes get injured.

If people exercised in a slow progressive manner they would avoid the discomfort of post-exercise and perhaps stick with an exercise program. No wonder we have such a high obesity rate. Who wants to exercise if they have to recover after an exercise session. Physical activity should be enjoyable and even fun.

One can occasionally have slight soreness if trying a new exercise system, but generally feeling sore means one is overdoing it or is performing exercises that are not age appropriate. If one is de-conditioned, feeling slightly sore the next day is common, especially if using a muscle that has not been used for years. But an older exerciser needs to be smart and use light weights to start and gradually increase the pounds and repetitions. If one is strength training, it is wise to wait a day or 2 before using the same muscle group to allow the micro-tears that result from weight training to heal.

An elite level athlete or body builder might need to exercise to the point of needing recovery. Unfortunately, some exercise systems for older adults have morphed into the militarization of fitness. We are seeing too many people who exercise for some reason feeling proud about not being able to walk for 3 days. Additionally, there are too many in physical therapy and at the orthopedist. We need to exercise to stay healthy-not to get injured.

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