Stay Fit : Fitness after 30

After a certain age men have to be careful about their workout routines to avoid injuries. Here are some practical tips that will help you in doing just that:

• Consult your doctor: Talking to your doctor about your exercise routine is always a good idea. Ask which exercises provide the most benefit for your physical condition.

• Take it slow: Start easing yourself into a training program a month or a two before getting back into sports. Older bodies really can’t handle sudden changes in an exercise routine.

• Add more time: You will need longer warm-up and cool-down time to prepare your body and reduce your risk of injury, especially for strenuous exercises. Follow a hard workout with a couple of days of rest or light workout days.

• Do stretching exercises: It’s typical to lose range of motion at a joint or joints. Stretching exercises will improve flexibility and prevent injury.

• Maintain intensity: Each decade after the age of 30 you’ll likely lose 5 percent to 15 percent of aerobic capacity. Do aerobic exercises regularly to combat this natural decline.

• Use weights: Using weights in addition to aerobic exercise — usually two to three days a week — combats the natural loss of muscle mass in aging men.

• Pay attention to pain: If you injure yourself while exercising, stop. Apply ice and take a rest. If the pain continues, get it checked out by a doctor.

• Remember, it’s not a competition: Don’t try to lift as much weight as the guy on the machine next to you or outplay the guy who’s 20 years junior on the racquetball court. In middle and older age, always trying to win can result in a potentially serious injury. — Agencies