If you’ve had an active summer, it’s more than time you give your muscles a little TLC! Making a conscious effort to take care of them is something you can do for your overall health that will have an immediate, positive effect on your life.
First, start and end each day with stretching, or even better, yoga—but if you’re not comfortable doing poses, balancing, etc., just do some gentle stretching. Start at the top and work your way down your body. Even if you don’t make time to exercise, or don’t do a full body routine, you can still spend half an hour (15 minutes in the morning and evening each) making sure each muscle is flexed and stretched. If you have any pain or health concerns about stretching—talk to your doctor. A chiropractor can even give you specific exercises for what ails you!
Exercise—and not just cardio, but do a little weight training. You want to maintain strong muscles as you age! Plus, strong muscles will help you burn more calories even when you aren’t working out. Here’s a suggestion: some research suggests drinking green tea before working out could help (energy, antioxidants, and other support).
Eat enough protein! You can try a protein powder if you don’t eat meat, or if you want to get more protein without the fat. The protein will help build your muscles (even if they’re dainty and sleek).
Load your diet with antioxidants, and drink enough water! Working out involves the use of free radicals to tear down (and then rebuild with all that yummy protein you’re getting) muscles—while it’s necessary, you want to keep it in check. So make sure to eat berries, nuts, or a supplement containing plenty of antioxidants! Water is important to help flush toxins out of your body, so don’t skimp! Consider coconut water if you’re worried about absorbing enough.
Finally (and this is the best part!) take time to relax your muscles. If you’re on top of really working out, one recommendation even says to only do it every other day so that your muscles aren’t overworked. This is a great time to hit the spa for a massage (releasing toxins and helping relax you), or time in the hot tub or sauna. Just make sure you are physically up to the heat (and are drinking plenty of water!) before going.
Do you spend time taking care of your muscles?