How to Take Care of Your Posture as You Age
As you get older, if you don’t take care of your posture, you’ll eventually pay for it. You’ll have unnecessary pain, be weaker than you need to be, and ever so slightly start to look like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
Fixing bad posture after it has already set in is difficult. It’s a hell of a lot easier to maintain what you have now than to try and get it back later.
There are 2 major things you need to do to maintain a good posture as you age.
- Follow a well-balanced strength training program. Ideally one that puts appropriate focus on pulling movements, emphasizes good form, and does not overload the muscles that close the front of the body (chest, front shoulders, hip flexors).
- Stretch both statically and dynamically.
At 34 years old I don’t care about increasing my deadlift by another plate or getting on a bodybuilding stage.
I care about maintaining strength, posture and energy as I age.
The current routine I’m following reflects that goal, and here I’ll share that routine with you as a useful template to build your own weekly routine.
Here is the current weekly program I’m following. I train at 6pm each day, Monday to Friday.
The strength training sessions are 30 minutes and based on simple compound movements.
The stretching sessions are 30 minutes and combine common dynamic and static stretches. They are heavily based on the gymnasticbodies stretch series.
I’ve used a lot of other stretching techniques in the past such as doing yoga classes, acroyoga, and long static stretching such as those found in Pavel Tsatsouline’s book, Relax into Stretch.
All of those techniques and many more are valid. I’m not promoting one form of stretching over another, as different bodies react differently to various techniques. However, stretching in general is very important and you need to fit it into your week.
I like to do stretching after strength training because:
- You’re fully warmed up
- You’re already at the gym.
- It’s especially relaxing after a heavy training session.
A quick note on cardio.
Cardio is its own animal. And to be honest I’ve avoided it most of my life. However, I’ve been able to be consistent with cardio in one way. I get on a treadmill for 30 minutes at moderate, consistent intensity, and listen to an audio book (preferably Will Durant) so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time.
Experiment with this weekly schedule, make it your own, and find a way to fit strength training, stretching, and cardio into your week.