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My number one cardio activity is running. I normally do middle distances, from three to five miles, to get my heart rate up to about 120 to 130 beats per minute. The goal is to maintain that heart rate over a 30 to 45-minute timeframe. This is something I need to do every day, but I get in 5 days a week. It’s excellent for the heart and keeps my blood pressure in check.
However, it can create problems with the hips, knees and ankles when you’re pounding on hard pavement step after step. That said, lately, all of those joints have been in pain as I prepare for a 10K race.
To counter the potential damage to my body I must do mobility exercises and stretch. This is the part of the workout regimen that I tend to skip like most people. We’re in so much of a rush to “just get it in” that we don’t invest time in proper maintenance. That said, I’ve realized that I’m not getting sore or injured because I’m getting older. The problem is a lack of maintenance and preparing myself, prior to engaging in the activities I love so much.
Most people I train don’t want to stretch and do mobility exercises. Admittedly it doesn’t seem like they do anything to make you stronger or more powerful, but they help prevent injury, which is just as important.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, but you can’t be in it if you’re injured. So now, as the years pile on, I always think prepping for any activity is just as important as engaging in the activity, especially if you’re a weekend warrior.
You can hurt yourself playing golf, tennis or baseball by making the slightest movements. You can injure yourself walking up the stairs or carrying a grocery bag. However, if you prepare properly, you’ll be able to do those things, pain-free, for the rest of your life.
Therefore, see your personal trainer and make flexibility and mobility your top priorities.