How To Prevent Stiffness As You Age

A kinesiologist’s guide to running well into your later years

David Liira, Kin.
Runner's Life

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Although we can do everything in our power to live healthy lives, it’s impossible to fully delay aging. Some bodily processes begin to break down over the years, and it’s just part of life. For example, the complaint around progressive stiffness is a completely valid one.

As the body grows old, our fibroblasts struggle to make glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) at a consistent rate. Unfortunately, these highly polar sugar units are the very products that attract water to lubricate joints and improve shock absorption. Consequently, there is less water in your cartilage, bones, and muscles causing increased stiffness.

Due to the decreased production of GAGs, we tend to notice the body’s aches and pains more often. Once we feel discomfort, we often make the mistake of lying low and not taking any risks to stop further complications. I know of many clients who have halted their running because of stiffness, and unfortunately, they have it all backward. This sedentary habit only compounds soreness as you prevent your tissues from moving naturally.

Although we can’t completely stop aging, we do have access to a powerful tool for maintaining activity for years to come…movement. The simple act of getting out of your chair…

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David Liira, Kin.
Runner's Life

Kinesiologist. Writing on health and the human condition. Clap and I clap back. https://www.davidliirakin.com