View Full Version : flexibility training for older persons?
I am beginning Aikido training and am trying to gain flexibility, but it's sure coming very, very slowly. I am 51 and in good health, and have been active all my life. It seems that I tighten up really fast after stetching, which i do almost every day for half an hour or more. Sometimes it seems that I'm actually going backwards. Any advice for me? Should I be taking any special supplements? I don't eat much meat, except tuna, mostly a vegetarian. I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough gelatin, if that makes any sense. Thanks in advance for any constructive advice.
10-21-2000, 08:52 PM
Being a confirmed carnivore I encourage you eat as much steak as possible. :)
Seriously I would suggest doing some light exercise to warm up the muscles before stretching. Aiki Taiso or Ukemi is perfect in my opinion.
Thanks for your advice about warming up the muscles; I already do that, but maybe some different sort of warm-up, such as those you suggested might be more beneficial; I'll give it a try. Thanks.
As for your comment about eating more red meat, you'll understand eventually, as you become older and wiser (hopefully), that eating red meat often is one of the surest ways to shorten your life, become lethargic and obese, not to mention all the other predictable bad effects of the steroids and animal antibiotics that will accumulate in your body as a result of eating commercially produced beef, pork, chicken etc. Not only do vegetarians generally have much longer lifespans than meat-eaters, they are often not as prone to diseases and colds as meat-eaters. And they certainly don't smell as bad as meat-eaters. I'm not opposed to eating meat on any moral grounds, as some are, I just want to live long and well. I take a lot of joking about not eating much meat from friends and strangers as well, and I just think in the back of my head (like most vegetarians, probably)...hey pal, the jokes on you, really.
See you in the wind, bud.
10-23-2000, 12:49 AM
Have you ever tried changing your stretching exercises; as in, perhaps "resting" the different muscle groups in the same way a weightlifter will not train the same set of muscles every day, but still "warming up" overall? Try putting on Bengay or similar before you stretch. It's always helped my Dad (he's about your age)when he's about to perform strenous exercise
Also try squatting, flexing and bending your back and legs a little before class, just as everyone is coming onto the mat. It helps me a lot when I'm sore, and it gets me psyched to do my best.
In any case, flexibility is always hard to attain. Be patient and don't push it. Aikido is not a race, you have the rest of your life to get better at it.
Just some thoughts.
I'm a vegetarian also (but eat free range fish) and I worry abut my joints 'cos of bad knees (too much Aikido?) Best advice is:
- warm up (slowly!)
- cod liver oil (good for your joints, advanced Karatekas often take it)
Don't forget to stretch right after class as a warm-down exercise...
10-23-2000, 11:23 AM
Ever try Glucosamine? (with Vit. C is good) It's really great for some people's joints.
10-23-2000, 01:04 PM
I've gotten some recent success from a new technique. After begining my stretch and reaching that "stopping point", I tightly flex the muscles involved in the stretch for a couple of seconds. After that, I'm able to deepen my stretch. This, of course, would best be done after warming up a little.
10-23-2000, 01:11 PM
Since O-Sensei was a vegetarian, I don't think you should put to much energy on finding a diet that solves your problem. Instead, check this superb website out:
It tells you just about everything you need to know about stretching (and more) and was written by a guy who has read hundreds of books on the subject and compiled his own manual. Good luck!
Thanks Everyone for replying to my question about flexibility training for the older person. I'm incorporating some advices right now and hope to try all of your good suggestions in the near future. Again, thanks for taking the time to try to help me.
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