Fitness Over 40

By: CNN Email
By: CNN Email

The aging process can take a toll on our muscles.

As Susan Hendricks reports in Wednesday's health minute, flexibility is key to staying fit as we age.

"Arms above your head."

Regular exercise does more than help with weight control.

Experts say it's essential for flexibility.

"The natural way our body ages is to become tighter and tighter with every year."

That's what started happening to 43-year-old Lee Graham.

Even though he works out, his muscles started to feel different.

"As I've gotten older they've become more and more creaky and i find it more difficult these days to even start stretching because i find myself, you know it hurts sometimes."

Dr. Vonda Wright, author of "Fitness after 40," says good flexibility helps reduce the tension in active muscles, promotes good blood circulation and helps prevent injuries.

But as peo ple age, she notes they may notice a stiffness in their muscles and joints.

"Our tissues actually do something called crinkling which means the tendons in a relaxed state, live an accordian, all bound up, and we have to help them unwind in order to function well."

Experts say that means warming up muscles first, and then stretching.

It works for Lee.

He says he is injury free and stronger than ever.

For today's health minute, i'm Susan Hendricks.

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